Have you ever been stopped at the Departure gate by airline staff asking to check the size/weight of your carry-on bag? In the last century, it was possible, common even, to carry multiple hand-carry items. And unless you really overdid it, they didn’t weigh your bag either. Nobody worried much about the shape of the items either. Carrying a large Christmas cake, a bottle of wine and a big jar of Vegemite does count as overdoing it. But no more.
Why control the carry-on bag size?
Increased security measures since September 2001 have something to do with it. But the rise of low-cost airlines has been a big driver.
- Quick turnaround of aircraft means loading of passengers must be quick and efficient.
- The bag must be able to fit easily into the overhead locker or under the seat.
- You should be able to lift the bag easily into the overhead locker.
- Safety issues affect all airlines. Overhead lockers do have a weight limit.
Most carriers allow one (or sometimes two) bag with a combined weight of 7kg.
Use an app to help
Most airports now have scales and size frames to guide you before you check-in. Unfortunately, most frames don’t cope with all sizes and shapes. Many airlines just give a total dimension limit for height/width/depth so if your bag is different it may not fit.
Enter the Kayak travelling app. It’s currently only available in the iOS version and has recently been updated. It uses augmented reality (AR) technology and has recently been added to the Kayak app. Please note that this is just a guide to help you before you leave for the airport.
How to use the app
- Download the Kayak app (the link above)
- Open the flight search feature in the app
- First scan the floor using your phone’s camera
- Second, scan all around the bag to capture its size.
- The tool will guide you if you’re too far away / too close to the bag.
- The app will then do the calculations to check if your bag fits the size requirement for carry-on.
It will also show you the baggage policy for different airlines. This is very handy. If your airline isn’t there, check the baggage policy on their website.
Please remember that you should use it only as a guide as the app is new. It should improve with successive updates.
How does it work?
This handy video shows you how: