A Jetstar passenger was left annoyed and frustrated by a carry-on crackdown earlier this month which meant forking out $70 to check in a bag because her hand luggage was 1kg overweight.
The passenger, who did not want to be named, said the experience before an Auckland to Wellington flight was "unbelievable".
Jetstar says the rules around hand luggage weighing no more than 7kg are clearly spelled out and there was a recent focus lately on ensuring customers complied with limits.
Before the flight earlier this month the passenger said customers "dutifully" lined up after a loud speaker announcement.
"From what I saw, I estimate that around 80 per cent of people were over the 7kg threshold because they were not only weighing your carry on bag, but also handbags and laptop bags as well," the woman said.
"The females on the flight were all really surprised they had to have their handbags weighed as well - they seemed uncomfortable with that - it wasn't just me. It seems like such a personal item and it's strange to have it included."
The passenger's carry-on sports bag weighed 6kg but was forced to pay a $70 fee to check the bag in as her handbag weighed 2kg, adding up to 8kg.
"There was a lovely passenger who had been weighed before me and his carry on weighed 9kg. He told me I could put some of my items in his small suitcase, and then together we could split the luggage fee, which sounded like a great idea," she said. "The Jetstar flight attendant overheard this conversation and got unnecessarily aggro and said that was a security risk and was not allowed."
The passenger objected and said the risk was around not knowing what was in what in bags.
"If we are working together and he can see what I am putting in his bag, how can it be a risk, as we are knowingly doing it? But they wouldn't allow it," she said.
"I understand there are limits on weight and some people do have some huge bags they try to get through as hand luggage, but seriously, weighing laptop bags and women's handbags as well as their actual carry on? Seems like overkill and was clearly just a money making mission by Jetstar."
A Jetstar spokesman said the 7kg inclusive carry-on baggage allowance had been in place for over two and half years for all its domestic and international flights.
"Both our ground and cabin crew teams keep a close eye on carry-on baggage to ensure it meets weight and size requirements."
Passengers may be asked at check-in or at the gate to weigh their items or use a measure-up unit for size.
"We know that some of our customers become frustrated when there is a lack of overhead locker space for their bags and to be fair to our customers we want to make sure that everyone is compliant with our carry-on baggage limits," said the spokesman.
Air New Zealand said its customers "generally comply" with size and 7kg limits, plus one small item such a handbag or laptop.
"At check-in customers are encouraged to move items to their checked-in bag if their carry-on luggage weighs more than their allowance. Our crew will also arrange for excess cabin baggage to be moved to the aircraft hold were necessary."