Having recently bought my first domestic Australian airline tickets, I noticed something weird about their carry-on baggage policies. Like many US airlines, they allow you to take one carry-on bag plus one “personal item” (a jacket or computer or book) as part of the ticket price. But unlike any US airline I’ve heard of, they have a weight limit on the carry-on bags. In fact, it’s a seriously low limit — 7 kg. I couldn’t believe it at first. Do you realize how little 7 kilos is for a carry-on bag? My computer backpack, totally unloaded, weighs 1 kg. And my laptop weighs 2 kg.
So I did a little experiment to see just how much I could carry in my carry-on bag to not exceed the 7 kg limit. It’s basically a laptop in a bag, an AC charger, an iPad, a mobile phone, one book, a candy bar, and a very lightweight jacket. No toiletries, no change of clothes, no extra battery, no snacks, no drink, etc. To stay under the limit, I’m essentially going to load my backpack only about 1/3 full.
Maybe they don’t really enforce this 7 kg limit, I thought. I was going to ask around, but then I asked Google and found this article by Lifehacker Australia. I love this quote: “Items that are heavy but compact (like computer chargers) might be better off in your pockets than in your bag.” Maybe I should just wear cargo pants and one of those photojournalist vests, and pack every pocket to the max.