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The best airlines for baggage in Australia

Whether you love to travel light or refuse to fly without numerous bags in tow, these are the Australian airlines with the baggage allowances you need.

Flight price might play a part when choosing which airline to fly, but something that can catch passengers out is baggage fees. While larger carriers tend to include baggage allowance, budget airlines often do not unless you pay more for the privilege.

For light travellers, this can be a benefit. If all your luggage fits snugly into a carry-on, then a cheap budget fare could be just what you need.

If you’re more inclined to pack your whole wardrobe then it’s worth looking into your checked-in baggage options with both budget and larger carriers and purchasing the correct amount of luggage early. If you forget to purchase checked-in luggage, you will need to pay for it at the airport, most likely at a higher price.

You can compare luggage allowances across all Australian airlines below:

Australian airline baggage allowance comparison (economy)

Prices below are for one-way flights.

AirlineCarry-on
1st checked bag2nd checked in
(pre-purchase)
Checked luggage at the airport
JetstarFree
(up to 7kg)
$14.50–45
(varies from 15–40kg)
N/A$50 per 15kg, $15 per kg after
QantasFree
(up to 7kg)
One piece free
(up to 23kg)
$30 in advance$40 for the first additional piece,
$60 for the second.
Heavy fees may apply for items over 23kg
TigerairFree
(up to 7kg in total)
$13.50–41
(varies from 15–40kg)
N/A$75–90 for the first 15kg (varies depending on length of flight). $20 per kg after
Virgin AustraliaFree
(up to 7kg)
One piece free
(up to 23kg)
$35 per extra piece
(max two extra pieces)
$70 for first additional piece,
$90 for second,
$150 for third to ninth piece
RexFree
(up to 7kg)
Free
(up to 15kg)
N/A N/A

Australian airline baggage allowance comparison (business class)

Prices below are for one-way flights.

AirlineCarry-on (piece/weight limit)1st checked bag2nd checked in (pre-purchase)Checked luggage at the airport
JetstarFree
(up to 14kg)
Free
(up to 30kg)
No second checked in bag option available.
Excess weight can be purchased at $10 for 5kg or $20 for 10kg more
$50 per 15kg,
$15 per kg after
QantasFree
(up to 7kg)
Two pieces
(up to 32kg per piece)
$30 per piece
(32kg each)
$40 for the first extra piece,
$60 for the second,
$30 heavy charge for items over 23kg
TigerairNo business classNo business classNo business classNo business class
Virgin AustraliaFree
(up to 7kg)
Two pieces free
(up to 32kg each)
$35 per extra piece
(max two extra pieces)
$70 for first additional piece,
$90 for second,
$150 for third to ninth piece
REXNo business classNo business classNo business classNo business class

Types of luggage

You’ll find there are a variety of baggage options available to you when booking your flight. It’s important to choose the right type to avoid any problems at the airport. These luggage options include:

  • Carry-on/hand luggage: This is a bag/s that you physically carry onto the plane. In Australia, you are often able to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item bag (e.g. a handbag). There is often a combined weight limit of 7kg for your carry-on bags. Typically your main carry-on cannot exceed approx. 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size.
  • Check-in luggage: This is your larger carrier which you check in at the airline’s counter. Depending on the airline it can be anything from 20–32kg in weight and will travel in the luggage compartment of the plane.
  • Oversized baggage: Any bag that is over the allowed check-in bag size or is an odd shape, e.g. backpacker bags or snow equipment, is viewed as oversized. It will be checked in normally, though you will need to take it to the oversized counter so it can be loaded on the plane separately.
  • Excess baggage: If your checked-in bag exceeds the weight limit, you may be asked to pay for the extra weight. Some airlines allow you to pay for this during your booking, otherwise you will need to pay for it at the airport.

What should I do in the case of airline baggage damage?

If an airline damages or destroys your baggage tell the airline desk at baggage claim straight away. If the carrier has damaged your bag they are obliged to either repair or replace it with a similar model.

To make sure that your issue is looked after, take note of the rep’s name and ID number and prompt them for the next step to resolving the issue. Will they call you? Will the airline call you? Will you have to purchase a new bag and have it reimbursed by them? All these questions can help in the follow up process if nothing comes of your complaint.

It is also helpful to take photos of the damage as proof, preferably with context to show that it was damaged at the airport, to back your case.

Depending on the damage to your bag, you might like to ask the representative to provide you with an emergency bag to carry your items to your hotel/home. You might also like to see if the airline will cover you for emergency gear in the event that you have to purchase new clothes due to the damage.


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