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Australian Airline Baggage Limits Explained

23 November 2018
Read Time: 5.1 mins

One of the considerations that airline passengers must make in preparation for their trip is baggage. From the size and weight, to the number of bags permitted, each airline has its own rules for carry-on and checked luggage.

To prevent being charged for excess, overweight or oversized pieces, flyers should always check the baggage limits for their airline and fare type. This way, there should be no pre-departure surprises at the airport.

On most airlines, the checked baggage allowance is determined by fare type, class of travel, frequent-flyer status and even route flown. In every case, your travel agent will be able to advise you of the precise allowance available.

Qa​ntas

Qantas 737 aircraft australia

Qantas permits one or sometimes two pieces of carry-on luggage, depending on their size and weight. You can take one 115-centimetre bag (56cm x 36cm x 23cm), with a maximum weight of 7 kilograms. Alternatively you can take two 105-centimetre carry-on bags (48cm x 34cm x 23xm), or one 105-centimetre bag and one 185-centimetre non rigid garment bag.

For the checked baggage allowances below, Silver, Gold and Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer members are permitted additional allowances with greater weights or additional pieces depending on the route flown. Check with your travel agent for details. Regardless of class, no single piece of luggage can exceed 32 kilograms.

Economy

Checked bag allowances include one 23-kilogram piece for domestic flights and two 23-kilogram pieces for South and North America flights. For all other international flights, guests may check multiple bags as long as they are within the combined 30-kilogram limit. Dimensions for each piece must not exceed 140 centimetres (H+W+D).

Premium Economy

A Premium Economy cabin is offered on Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 international flights. For flights to North and South America, guests may check two pieces with a maximum weight of 23 kilograms for each. International flights to Asia, the Middle East and Europe go by the weight system, with a free 40-kilogram allowance over multiple bags. No single item should exceed the dimensions of 158 centimetres or weigh more than 32 kilograms.

Business

Business Class is available on both domestic and international services. Two bags are allowed on domestic flights with a maximum weight of 32 kilograms per bag. The same 32-kilogram weight limits apply to bags on flights to North and South America, however guests are provided with a three-bag allowance. Flights to all other international destinations are capped at a total of 40 kilograms. Similar to Premium Economy, no piece should exceed the dimensions of 158 centimetres or 32-kilogram weight limit.

First

The piece system is used for flights to the Americas. Three 32-kilogram bags are permitted with the standard 158-centimetre limit for size. For other international routes, First Class guests may check up to 50-kilogram in total. As always, no single bag may weigh more than 32 kilograms.

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Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia Boeing aircraft and crew sydney

Whether it’s a domestic or international flight, Virgin Australia allows two carry-on items in the cabin provided that the total weight doesn't exceed seven kilograms. Each item should fit within the linear dimensions of 105 centimetres.

The checked baggage allowances shown below do not include the increased limits given to Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity members.

Economy

Both domestic and international short haul guests enjoy a free allowance of one 23-kilogram bag, even on Saver fares. On international long haul flights, Economy guests can take two pieces with a maximum weight of 23-kilograms each. No single piece of luggage can exceed 32-kilograms in weight. And any bag that exceeds the dimensions of 158 centimetres will incur an oversized bag fee. Economy flights operated on Etihad Airways are allowed one 23-kilogram bag, while Singapore Airlines operated flights can take 30 kilograms total. Virgin Atlantic operated flights to the United Kingdom are allowed two 23-kilogram pieces.

Premium Economy

Premium Economy is available on short- and long-haul international flights. For Trans Tasman, Pacific Islands and Indonesia services, guests can take two items at 23 kilograms each. For flights to the Americas and Hong Kong Premium guests can also take two items, but with a maximum weight of 32 kilograms each.

Business

Business Class is offered on domestic and international services. For domestic, short-haul international and long-haul flights to the Americas, guests in Business may check two bags for free, each with a maximum weight of 32 kilograms. Guests flying to Abu Dhabi on a codeshare flight with Etihad Airways can also take two bags at 32 kilograms each. The maximum linear dimension of each bag must not exceed 158 centimetres.

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Jetstar

jetstar 787 dreamliner australia

Jetstar's carry-on bag limits differ for Economy and Business Class. One bag plus one personal item are allowed in Economy, so long as the total weight remains at or under seven kilograms. The maximum dimensions of the large item are 56cm x 36cm x 23cm. The second item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.

Guests seated in Business may bring two items with a maximum weight of seven kilograms for each, so 14 kilograms in total. The maximum dimensions for these bags is 56cm x 36cm x 23cm.  

Items found to be too heavy or too large must fly as checked luggage and these items will incur a checked bag fee if not already pre-paid.  

Economy

Rules around checked baggage differ depending on the fare type. Guests may bring as many bags as they like, provided that the cumulative weight of all bags is within the allowance provided by the fare class travelled on.

For those on an Economy Starter fare, baggage must be purchased for an additional fee. Online fees are cheaper than those paid at the airport ticket counter. The higher Economy Starter Plus fare includes a 20-kilogram checked baggage allowance with the option to purchase an additional 20-kilograms, while Starter Max guests receive a free 30-kilogram allowance with the option to purchase another 10 kilograms.

Business Class

Business Class passengers have a free checked bag allowance of 30 kilograms. An additional 10 kilograms may be purchased for a small fee. Purchasing additional weight will be cheaper when pre-paid online versus at the ticket counter.

Airport Fees

There are two scenarios in which airport baggage fees must be paid – when a carry-on item is found to be too heavy or too large to take on board, or when baggage has not been pre-purchased.

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Tiger air cabin baggage

Tigerair

Tigerair permits two carry-on pieces in the cabin with a combined weight of seven kilograms. For an additional fee, passengers may increase that allowance with the Cabin+ option. This handy feature adds another five kilograms on top of the standard carry-on allowance. Size restrictions for each bag are as follows: H54cm; W38cm; D23cm.  

Economy

Tigerair flights are all Economy class. Light Fares and Express Fares do not include a free baggage allowance, however passengers may add baggage to their booking for an additional fee. The fee varies depending on the weight amount chosen. Pre-purchasing baggage at time of booking on the airline’s website is significantly cheaper than purchasing an allowance at the airport.


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Todd Sturm

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. No matter where my travels take me, I enjoy experiencing each destination from the perspective of the locals. Some of my favourite attractions include historic sites, national parks and architectural landmarks.