Compare carry-on luggage allowance sizes on Australian airlines

When it comes to carry-on luggage, size really does matter.

Updated

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're opting for carry-on luggage only or are actively seeking to max your baggage on your next flight, here's a comparison of the size and dimensions for carry-ons each Australian airline accepts on their domestic routes so you can book according to your luggage needs.

Time to start measuring your bag!

Carry-on luggage size and weight allowances compared (economy)

AirlineBaggage optionsMax. height x width x depthWeight allowance
Jetstar
  • 1x 115cm bag (Q300 aircraft: 105cm) + small personal item
56 x 36 x 23cm7kg total
Tigerair
  • 1x 115cm (total dimensions) + small personal item
54 x 38 x 23cm7kg total
Qantas
  • 1x 115cm bag + small personal item OR
  • 2x 105cm (total dimensions) bags + small personal item OR
  • 1x 105cm bag + 1x 185cm garment bag + small personal item

Dash 8 services only allow for 1x 105cm piece

56 x 36 x 23cm7kg per piece (up to 14kg in total)
Virgin Australia
  • 1x 115cm bag and one small personal item OR
  • 1x 105cm bag + 1x 185cm garment bag + small personal item
  • 2x 105cm bags (total dimensions) + small personal item
56 x 36 x 23cm7kg total
Rex
  • 2x 105cm small bags OR
  • 1x 115cm bag + 1x 185cm garment bag
48 x 34 x 23cm7kg total
  • Best airline for carry-on luggage size allowance

Unsurprisingly, luxury Qantas and Virgin Australia offer more generous carry-on luggage allowances than their low-cost counterparts Jetstar and Tigerair.

Of the two, Qantas is the winner for anyone travelling with bulky and hefty luggage, with a maximum length of 115cm and multiple pieces weighing 7kg each permitted in the cabin.

  • Best budget airline for carry-on luggage size allowance

When deciding between Jetstar and Tigerair, the carry-on sizes are almost like for like. The best tip for those tipping the scales is to top-up your luggage on Jetstar. This allows you to extend your carry-on allowance to 14kgs across two bags. The cost to upgrade is $19 and no one bag can be heavier than 10kg. Bags must not exceed the allowed cabin baggage dimensions.

  • Best airline for carry-on weight allowance

Those not packing light can turn to Qantas, which allows its passengers to carry up to three items, including a personal item, each to a maximum weight of 7kg (or 21kg in total).

  • Which airline lets you carry the most bags?

Depending on how strict the airline is, they may ask you to consolidate your bags before you hop on board, which can be a painful process. Qantas and Virgin Australia are your best bets for avoiding this as both allow up to three bags in the cabin.


What are the charges for pre-booked excess luggage?

Need to bring extra items on board? If you exceed your carry-on weight or size restrictions you may be asked to check your item in and be charged for it accordingly.

These charges are at their most expensive at the airport, so it's cheaper to tack them onto your booking as soon as you know you won't be packing light.

Here's what you can expect to pay to top up your luggage amount prior to your flight on a short-haul journey like Sydney-Melbourne booked four months in advance. These charges differ depending on how much the flight costs and what route you're flying. Prices were obtained on 15 January 2019 for travel in May 2019.

AirlineExcess weightCharge
JetstarUp from 7kg to 14kg$19
TigerairUp from 7kg to 12kg$15
QantasItem will be placed in the luggage hold$0
Virgin AustraliaItem will be placed in the luggage hold$0
Virgin AustraliaMust check bag in-

What are the charges for excess baggage at the airport

Left it to the very last? Here's what you can expect to pay if you show up at the airport with more carry-on luggage than you booked for:

AirlineExcess weight chargeOther fees
Jetstar$60 per item-
Rex$7.70 per kg$16.50 per piece if size exceeds limitations
QantasFrom $78 per piece-
Tigerair$75 (short flights) or $90 (long flights) for 15kg$20 per kg exceeding 15kg
Virgin AustraliaFrom $70 per piece-

Frequently asked questions about carry-on baggage

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 having them thrown out when you pass through security and customs.

Can I bring powders in a carry-on?

As of 30 June 2018, certain powders including salt, sand, powdered detergents and some talcum powders are restricted from carry-on luggage on international flights. While this rule isn't enforced on domestic flights, if you're flying locally to connect internationally you will need to move restricted powders into your checked luggage or risk having them thrown out.

What carry-on items are prohibited on domestic flights?

Prohibited items in the cabin include:

  • Sharp items capable of injuring a person. This includes kitchen utensils such as knives and metal cutlery, tools such as drills and screwdrivers, sports equipment such as ski poles, and everyday items such as letter openers and scissors with a blade longer than 6cm.
  • Blunt items capable of injuring a person. This includes sports equipment such as cricket bats and golf clubs.
  • Flammables: This includes aerosol cans, fireworks and toy caps.
  • Restraining items: This includes cable ties and handcuffs.
  • Weapons: This includes firearms, daggers, martial arts equipment, explosives and chemical toxins.
  • Dangerous chemicals: This includes poisons and lithium batteries.

For a full list of prohibited and permitted items, visit the Department of Home Affairs site.

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 strictly enforces the weight limit, some do weigh your bag before boarding the aircraft. Budget airlines, like Tigerair and Jetstar, frequently carry this out.

Whichever airline you're flying with, 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 little as $7.70 per kilogram or as much as $78 if you need to check your entire bag at the last minute.


How to pack to stick to your carry-on allowance


Best airline flight deals in Australia

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $43 + one free date change

Available on select flights from 12 June - 31 October 2020 with Jetstar. Destinations include Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Perth, Cairns, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $77 return

Available on select dates from July - September 2020 to Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

USA flights from $448 return

Available on select dates from September - December 2020 to San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, Miami and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Honolulu with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Ballina flights from $120 return

Available on select flights from June - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Sydney flights from $91 return

Available on select flights from June- December 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Hobart flights from $122 return

Available on select flights from June - December 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-Hobart with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $91 return

Available on select flights from June - December 2020 to Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Gold Coast flights from $112 return

Available on select dates from June - December 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Cairns flights from $172 return

Available on select flights from July - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

New Zealand flights from $276 return

Available on select flights from July 2020 - February 2021. Destinations include Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Christchurch with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Wellington flights from $283 return

Available on select flights from July 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Gold Coast with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Brisbane flights from $127 return

Available on select dates from June - October 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Adelaide flights from $87 return

Available on select dates from June - August 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Melbourne flights from $118 return

Available on select dates from June - August 2020. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Sydney flights from $86 return

Available on select dates from June - December 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Domestic flights from $137 return with Qantas

Available on select flights from June 2020 - April 2021 to Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 70% off holidays

Book holidays to Thailand, Bali, Fiji, Maldives, Vietnam and across Australia at up to 70% off. Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Up to 15% off business class flights

Available on select travel dates when you use the code. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, London, Japan and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

New Zealand flights from $457 return

Available on select dates from August - September 2020 to Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown. Sample fare is Brisbane-Chrisstchurch. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Ayers Rock flights from $369 each way

Available on select dates from August 2020 - March 2021. Sample fare is Sydney-Ayers Rock. Other flights depart from Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Ballina flights from $89 each way

Available on select dates from July - August 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Adelaide flights from $109 each way

Available on select dates from July 2020 - March 2021. Sample fare departs from Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Perth flights from $179 each way

Available on select dates from July - August 2020. Sample fare departs from Kalgoorlie. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Brisbane flights from $99 each way

Available on select dates from July - October 2020. Sample fare departs from Gladstone. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Melbourne flights from $95 each way

Available on select dates from July 2020 - January 2021. Sample fare departs from Launceston. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Gold Coast flights from $99 each way

Available on select dates from June - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Sydney flights from $89 each way

Available on select dates from June 2020 - January 2021. Sample fare departs from Ballina. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Athens flights from $1,284 return

Available on select dates from September 2020 - May 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Qantas Airways and Lufthansa.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Uluru flights from $225 return

Available on select dates from August - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Adelaide flights from $132 return

Available on select dates from June - December 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Melbourne flights from $91 return

Available on select flights from June - December 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Coffs Harbour flights from $252 return

Available on select flights from June - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Qantas.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Brisbane flights from $124 return

Available on select flights from July - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Newcastle with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Queenstown flights from $300 return

Available on select flights from July - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Auckland flights from $249 return

Available on select flights from July 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Auckland with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Christchurch flights from $276 return

Available on select flights from July - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Queenstown flights from $281 return

Available on select dates from July - November 2020. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Christchurch flights from $244 return

Available on select dates from July - November 2020. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Auckland flights from $234 return

Available on select dates from July - December 2020. Sample fare departs from Gold Coast with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Tasmania flights from $104 return

Available on select dates from June - November 2020 to Launceston and Hobart. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
4 Jun 2020 $30 off your next rental DMC****
27 May 2020 Extra $10 off site-wide with code FDR****
22 May 2020 Extra 9% off hotel bookings AUT****
27 Apr 2020 Up to 12% off worldwide flights PAY****
14 Apr 2020 Up to 75% off worldwide hotels + extra 5% off with code FIN****

Related Posts

Latest Flight Deals

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    CurtisFebruary 4, 2020

    I am traveling to Australia & New Zealand for the first time from the US. We are connecting through Sydney to Auckland and later flying back to Syndey to catch a cruise. I am flying Virgin Australia.

    I have both a backpack with my laptop and a wheeled carry-on camera bag. Both are overweight. Will I have an option to pay extra or will they require to check my camera bag? I have very expensive camera gear and would not want to check it. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiFebruary 5, 2020

      Hi Curtis,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well. Carry-on and check-in baggage all have max weight limits and if you go over the limit you will need to check in your luggage. You won’t need to pay for any fees if you have a free check-in baggage allowance. Otherwise, you would pay a checked-in baggage fee and the fees will depend on the airline company or cruise line, whichever applies.

      To prevent this hassle, get in touch with your travel provider to ask about baggage fees and allowance.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

Ask a question
Go to site