AUSTRIAN has quietly introduced extremely strict monitoring of Carry On luggage at their hub in Vienna and at gateways throughout Europe. According to OS, this is in direct response to the new fare concepts (Light/Classic/Flex) that were launched on October 1 that are specific to the European market.
Specifically in Vienna, enforcement of the carry on policy will take place just before the Boarding Pass Control Gates in Terminal 3. Similar methods will be put in place throughout OS’ Euro network. The scrutiny will be ‘Pass/Fail’. Either your bag fits and you can proceed, or it doesn’t and you will be forced to check the bag for a cost if your fare class does not allow for a free checked bag.
OS says this is being done to ensure cabin safety and expedited boarding. However looking through those comments, it comes down to revenue. I have no doubt that the ‘Light’ fare option will by far be the most popular fare class under the new program. ‘Light’ is the only fare class out of the 3 that has a fee for checking a bag, so it only makes sense that OS wants to stop people circumventing the luggage policy by having ‘slighty’ non compliant carry on luggage taken on board. If it was about safety and expedited boarding the policy would have been strictly enforced for years.
Regardless of class, any passenger wishing to board an OS flight for travel within Europe will be forced to comply. The policy for baggage size has always been there, but now it looks as though revenue models are forcing it to be enforced. In short, EVERY bag is now subject to the scrutiny.
Be mindful if you are arriving to VIE from a transcontinental destination. Your bag might have been allowed on a 777 or 767 but it will be subject to the new scrutiny if you are connecting onward on an OS flight from VIE, you’ll need to pay to check the bag if it doesn’t fit the carry on luggage sizer.