Clad in black jackets with tags that say “airline baggage checks”, they are stationed outside the glass doors which lead into the departure lounge. Their job is to keep a lookout for air travellers with a weight issue – carry-on bags that are too heavy.
Passengers who bust the maximum weight allowed – typically 7kg or 10kg – are sent back to the luggage counters to check in their bags.
In almost all cases, they have to pay for the extra heft.
At least four carriers – Biman Bangladesh Airlines, along with low-cost airlines Jetstar Asia, Tigerair and Cebu Pacific – have hired Certis Cisco staff to make sure hand-carry rules at Changi Airport are not flouted.
Certis Cisco, which started offering the service in September 2011, now has close to 30 bag checkers.
All carriers have rules on the maximum weight and size allowed for hand-carry bags but full-service airlines tend not to enforce these strictly, industry experts said.
Budget airlines, however, rely heavily on ancillary earnings – money made from selling items and services aside from flight tickets, they said.
These also include charging economy passengers for check-in baggage, which full-service airlines provide as part of the fare.
By implementing the checks, these carriers minimise revenue leakage of ancillary earnings, which typically account for more than S$1 (RM2.60) out of every S$5 (RM13) collected.
AirAsia is the only major budget carrier at Changi Airport that has decided not to hire Certis Cisco’s bag checkers. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network