When it comes to carry-on luggage, size really does matter.
Not all carry-on luggage sizes are equal. That’s a fact.
Typically, airlines are free to dictate whatever carry-on size they like for their flights, which means that one airline may allow larger luggage sizes than another.
Whether you’ve nominated carry-on luggage only or you’re looking to see how much baggage you can squeeze onto your flight, here’s a comparison of the maximum dimensions for carry-ons each Australian airline accepts on their domestic routes.
Time to start measuring your bag.
Carry-on luggage size and weight allowances compared
|Airline||Height (h)||Width (w)||Depth (d)||Total length (h x w x d)||Max. carry-on weight||Extra small personal item allowed?|
|Jetstar (exc. Q300)||56cm||36cm||23cm||115cm (Total dimensions)(Q300: <105cm)||7kg combined weight||Y|
|Rex||48cm||34cm||23cm||Options:||7kg combined weight||N|
|Qantas (exc. Dash 8 services)||48cm||34cm||23cm||Options:||7kg per piece||Y|
|Tigerair||54cm||38cm||23cm||115cm (Total dimensions)||7kg combined weight||Y|
|Virgin Australia||48cm||34cm||23cm||Options:||7kg combined weight||Y|
Which airline has the most generous carry-on luggage size allowances?
Of the budget airlines, both Jetstar and Tigerair offer the same baggage size and weight allowances for carry-ons, making neither better nor worse than the other. However, Tigerair does offer the option to upgrade to Cabin+ which allows you to extend your carry-on allowance to a bag that's 12kg and has the dimensions of up to 54cm-38cm-23cm. The cost to upgrade ranges from $18 to $23 each way, depending on the length of your flight.
Of the luxury airliners, Virgin and Qantas’s carry on restrictions are similar, however Qantas provides the option of a larger item (115cm in total) as opposed to two 105cm items. Additionally, the weight limit for Qantas is 7kg per piece while Virgin Australia’s is 7kg in total.
What's are the charges for excess or unbooked luggage?
Need to bring more bags? Forgot to purchase luggage with your ticket? Here are the fees you’ll incur if you show up at the airport unprepared:
|Airline||Excess carry-on luggage charge||Unbooked luggage charge|
|Jetstar||$15 per kg||$50 per 15kg|
|Rex||$7.70 per kg, plus $16.50 per piece if size exceeds limitations||N/A|
|Qantas||You may be required to check your bag in. Charges can start from $40 per piece.||All flights include checked luggage.|
|Tigerair||Certain flights offer cabin+, which gives you a maximum weight of 12kg. Prices start from $18 when pre-purchased for a short haul flight.||From $75 per 15kg|
|Virgin Australia||Items will be tagged and checked into the carrier’s hold. Airport checked baggage rates may apply. This starts at $70 per extra piece.||All flights include checked luggage.|
Common questions about carrry-on bags
How many carry-on bags can you have?
As noted in the chart above, Virgin, Rex and Qantas all allow you to bring two carry-on bags with you. However, the total weight for Virgin and Rex must still be 7kg or less, while Qantas will alllow each bag to weight up to 7kg.
Are carry-on bags free?
Australian airlines don't charge for carry-on baggage that's within the permitted weight and size restrictions.
Can I bring liquids in a carry-on?
Domestic flights within Australia do not currently restrict or limit the amount of liquids brought onboard with you. If you're flying domestic to make an international connection, you will need to move your liquids into your checked bag or risk throwing them out when you pass through security and customs.
Can carry-on luggage have wheels?
Yes. As long as your bag is still within the permitted limits (see chart above), you can bring a bag with wheels for easy transport.
Does carry-on luggage get weighed?
While not every airline will strictly enforce the weight limit, some do ask you to weight your bag before boarding the aircraft. Budget airlines, like Tigerair and Jetstar, are usually more prone to requesting this. It's recommended to play it safe and keep your bag below the weight restrictions to avoid any excess weight charges which can be as much as $15 per kilogram or $70 if you need to check your entire bag last minute.
What not to pack in your carry-on bag
More on luggage on Australia airlines
READ MORE: The best airlines for baggage in Australia
READ MORE: Luggage tips and tricks