Check These Airline Carry-On Bag Limits Before Boarding

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After nearly two years of start-stop domestic travel and a full stop to international travel, we’re finally able to move freely (provided we don’t have COVID, of course). It seems everyone is taking advantage of it, with Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar reporting in June 2022 that they expected to be flying at or above pre-pandemic levels in the coming months.

With many of us dusting off our suitcases for the first time in two years, we thought it worth revisiting airlines’ carry-on baggage allowance. Sure, you might sometimes be able to sneak a bag onboard that’s slightly oversized or overweight, but, to avoid copping an excess baggage fee or awkwardly shifting items from your carry-on to your checked bag at the airline desk, it’s best you plan ahead.

Ahead, we share with you the carry-on baggage allowances for Aussie airlines Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar, so you can pack appropriately and save yourself the headache.

Qantas Carry-On Baggage Allowance

On Qantas, carry-on bags — which includes musical instruments — must fit under the seat in front of you or in an overhead locker. They must not include any dangerous goods, including cigarette lighters, vapes and portable battery-powered devices.

For all Qantas domestic and international flights, you can carry on one bag that’s up to 10kgs, or two pieces that are no more than 14kgs total. The maximum carry-on size is 56cm in length x 36cm height x 23cm depth and, again, only weigh up to 10kgs.

Or, if you’re carrying on two bags, they can each be only up to 48cm x 34cm x 23cm and, again, weigh up to 14kgs together. Another option is to carry on a bag and a garment bag, which might include a dress or suit. The first bag would have to be smaller than 48cm x 34cm x 23cm and the garment bag would be 60cm x 11cm x 114cm.

Virgin Australia

On Virgin Australia domestic and international flights, the maximum carry-on baggage limit is 7kgs, though you can take onboard two carry-on bags that are 7kgs each. In both instances, you can bring onboard a personal item as well as the bag, like a laptop, handbag, blanket or umbrella. Small musical instruments can count as the personal item if they’re not any bigger than 85cm x 34cm x 23cm. A suit pack can also be taken onboard along with a carry-on bag, providing it doesn’t weigh more than 7kgs.

Jetstar Carry-On Baggage Allowance

Jetstar’s carry-on bag allowance depends on the fare type you’ve bought. If you have a Starter fare, your carry-on allowance is two items — a main item and a small item — with a combined weight of 7kgs. The small item can be a handbag or laptop and must fit under your seat. If you’re only carrying on one bag, it must weigh less than 7kgs and not exceed 36cm length x 56cm height x 23cm depth.

If you want to be able to carry-on more, you can buy 7kgs extra, a Flex bundle or a Business Class fare.

Scroll down to see some of our favourite carry-on bags for every budget and trip.

July Carry On Light, $245

At just 1.8kg, this carry-on is one of the lightest double-wheel suitcases around. It’s got a hard shell, comes in 13 different colours, and you can even personalise the luggage or order a luggage tag with your name or initials, too. For the month of July, the personalisation is completely free (normally $65).

Jett Black My JB Series Carry On Suitcase, $229

A hard shell, spinner wheels and a built-in TSA lock all feature in this carry-on. Another perk? It rolls upright so you don’t need to tilt it to wheel.

Staple Superior Downtown Weekender, $59.99

Prefer to carry your carry-on? Go for this weekender bag from menswear label Staple Superior (though it really is a unisex bag). Made from woven canvas, the duffle has two internal, zipped compartments and a removable shoulder strap.

Staple Weekender bag

Lululemon Wunderlust Backpack, $159

The drawstring opening of this backpack lets you easily seal everything inside, while the interior and exterior pockets help keep you organised.


Aidan The Signature Series ‘S’ Case, $495

A light-reflecting ridge design gives this carry-on by brand Aidan an edgy feel. A brake system, a handle with three heights and run-silent spinner wheels make it practical.

Aidan carryon

Storksak Cabin Carry On Scuba, $299.99

How’s this for a winner of an ideal carry-on – this bag can be carried in the crook of your arm and, when the retractable long handle is up, wheeled. The icing on the cake: it’s made from a durable scuba fabric.

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