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Tigerair’s tags spell doom for baggage cheats


Very little chance of sneaking that overweight bag on board now.

Tigerair is now fully organised to bust people trying to break its strict 7kg cabin bag weight limit, and this makes me very happy.

Regular readers will know that I've constantly been reminding everyone that trying to book a dirt-cheap fare with no included luggage and then stuff their carry-on to the gunwales will usually end up backfiring. In Australia, both Jetstar and Tigerair regularly weigh bags at the gate. If you're over that limit you'll usually have to pay to check your baggage and the rates at the airport are much higher than if you'd chosen that option in the first place.

Tigerair's approach to this was initially somewhat random, but in recent weeks it began noting down on boarding passes if bags had been weighed. Now it has completed the final piece of the puzzle and has begun attaching tags to all weighed bags for some flights. I encountered this on a trip to Brisbane last week. No tag? No boarding until you get weighed.

That doesn't guarantee it will happen every single time, it seems. On my Tigerair flight to the Gold Coast today, only customers with wheel-on suitcases were being checked and no tags were being applied. I'm guessing that might be because the main gate area Tigerair uses at Sydney Airport doesn't really lend itself to making everyone queue and weigh.

Nonetheless, the lesson is clear: you can't expect to sneak excess weight on board when you're flying with a low-cost carrier. The expense is real too. Checked baggage fees at the airport start at $75.

As a compact traveller, I don't have any problems keeping my bag to under 7kg. If that's an issue for you, do the right thing: check your bag, or pay for the Cabin+ upgrade (which gives you 12kg to take on board). You'll end up paying less and you won't annoy your fellow passengers.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on

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