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.
1x 105cm bag + 1x 185cm garment bag + small personal item
2x 105cm bags (total dimensions) + small personal item
56 x 36 x 23cm
2x 105cm small bags OR
1x 115cm bag + 1x 185cm garment bag
48 x 34 x 23cm
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.
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.
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
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.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited 55 countries (and counting).
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.