Compare carry-on luggage allowance sizes on Australian airlines

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

Updated

Fact checked

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

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
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.

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

  • 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
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-
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 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

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Australia-wide flights from $89 each way

Available on flights from January - September 2021 to Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Townsville, Darwin and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Virgin Australia flights from $78 each way

Available on select travel dates until December 2021 to Gold Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra, Cairns, Hamilton Island and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne. 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

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

New Zealand flights from $404 with Jetstar

Available on flights from March - September 2021 to Auckland, Christchurch and more. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Queenstown. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Australia flights from $80 return

Available on flights until June 2021 with Jetstar. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Ballina, Uluru, Townsville and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $65 return

Available on select flights in 2021 to Sydney, Hobart, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia and Qantas. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Qantas flights from $111 each way

Available on select travel dates until December 2021 to Adelaide, Hobart, Cairns, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Free flight change fees and cancellation fees

Available on flights until 30 June 2021 to Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Broome, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

Western Australia flights from $199 each way

Available on select dates until November 2021 Perth, Broome and Kununurra. Plus get flexible dates on flights until 31 January 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Flights to USA from $412 return

Available on select flights in 2021 to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Honolulu with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Flights to New Zealand from $265 return

Available on select flights in 2021 to Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Auckland with Jetstar. Other airlines include Air New Zealand from $555 and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Singapore flights from $366 return

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Darwin with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Destination International Destination International

5-day Darwin getaway with flights and car hire from $799

Available for travel from 1 February - 26 April 2021 departing from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Includes return flights with Virgin Australia, stay at Argus Hotel and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $139 with Qantas

Available on select travel dates in 2021 to Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Coffs Harbour and more. Sample fares is and Melbourne-Launceston. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Australia flights from $98 return

Available on select 2021 flights to Gold Coast, Sydney, Ballina, Cairns, Brisbane, Canberra and more. Sample fares are Avalon-Adelaide and Melbourne-Hobart with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Cairns flights from $173 return

Available on select travel dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $259 and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Gold Coast flights from $112 return

Available on select travel dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Newcastle with Jetstar. Other flights depart from Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Brisbane flights from $112 return

Available on select travel dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Newcastle with Jetstar. Other flights depart from Sydney, Cairns, Townsville and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Sydney flights from $109 return

Available on select travel dates until August 2021. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $139 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Hamilton Island flights from $286 return

Available on select travel dates in 2021 departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and more. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Virgin Australia.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Flights to Townsville from $185 return

Available on select flights in 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $364 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Byron Bay flights from $110 return

Available on flights until March 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Flights to Perth from $315 return

Available on select flight dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $543 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Canberra flights from $227 return

Available on select flights until August 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Virgin Australia. Other airlines include Qantas Airways from $383 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

New Zealand flights from $307 return

Available on select flights in 2021 to Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland with Jetstar. Other airlines include Air New Zealand from $542 return and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Adelaide flights from $98 return

Available on flights until February 2021. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Auckland flights from $265 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and more. Sample fare departs from Coast with Jetstar. Other airlines include Air New Zealand from $549 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Queensland flights from $76 each way

Available on select flight dates from January - March 2021 to Brisbane, Cairns, Hamilton Isaland, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Sunshine Coast with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $113, Qantas from $123 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Cairns flights from $91 each way

Available on select flights in 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar. Other airlines include Qantas from $159, Virgin Australia from $199 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Adelaide flights from $55 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $119 and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Coffs Harbour flights from $79 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Virgin Australia. Other airlines include Qantas from $149. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Canberra flights from $125 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Virgin Australia. Other airlines include Qantas from $193. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Gold Coast flights from $62 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $79 and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Sunshine Coast flights from $80 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $99. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Perth flights from $176 each way

Available on select dates in 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $179 and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Greece flights from $1,247 return

Available on select travel dates to Santorini, Thessaloniki, Crete and more. Sample fare is Perth-Athens with Malindo Air and Turkish Airlines. Other Airlines include British Airways from $1,583, Qantas from $1,633 and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Destination International Destination International

7-day stay + return flights in New Zealand from $999

Available for travel on select dates from May - November 2021. Sample price departs from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane with Jetstar. Destinations include Auckland and more. Includes car rental, accommodation at Woodlands Motel and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Budget Car Rental Budget Car Rental

Earn 4 Qantas points for every $1 spent

Rent a car across Australia and earn 4 Qantas points for every $1 spent. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
25 Jan 2021 $25 off Australia tandem skydives with code 25F****
14 Dec 2020 Get $20 credit FIN****
2 Dec 2020 Up to 10% off international flights with code MAS****
23 Oct 2020 $1 wine tastings in the Hunter Valley WIN****
22 May 2020 Extra 9% off hotel bookings AUT****

More guides on Finder

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

    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

Go to site