Bobby in Brisbane

Hi.

Want to know how to fly and travel with carry on only?

Planepack provides advice, tips, interviews and podcasts to fly and travel light.

How much hand luggage can you carry on board? Bags, sizes and weight.

How much hand luggage can you carry on board? Bags, sizes and weight.

But how much may I take on board?

This is a question I get asked a lot. I recently chatted to Allan, a former senior Qantas executive. I wanted to get a sense of the rules and regulations surrounding carry on luggage. This is what he said: 

'Whilst you wouldn't want to fill your book with a table of the differences between the carry on policies of the different airlines and lots of boring measurements of allowable sizes, I think it would be helpful to point out that the rules can vary significantly and travellers should check out the websites of the carriers on their itinerary, esp if there are multiple airlines in UK/Europe and the USA.'

Thanks to his advice and to the research done by Michael Gebicki, Traveller, you can compare carry on for a range of airlines that operate in and around Australia.

As a rule of thumb, I suggest you carry on no more than 7 kgs in your hand luggage, in a bag which should measure 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm. But you may be pleasantly surprised by the generosity of some airlines that allow additional weight and luggage pieces.

Check out the list below - and always refer to the airlines' rules and regulations before you adopt my preference for flying with hand luggage only.

Airlines, bags, sizes and weights

  • Air Asia | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm + 1 small bag 40cm x 30cm x 10cm | 7kgs
  • Air China (Economy) | 1 piece 55cm x 40cm x 20cm | 5kgs | Air China (Business) | 2 pieces 55cm x 40cm x 20cm each | 8kgs
  • Air New Zealand (Economy) | 1 piece + 1 small item total dimensions 118cm | 7kgs + 1 small item | Air New Zealand (Premium Economy and Business) | 2 pieces + 1 small item total dimensions 118cm | 14kgs + 1 small item
  • American Airlines (Basic Economy) | 1 piece dimensions should not exceed 45 x 35 x 20cm | weight unspecified | American Airlines (other classes) | 1 piece + 1 personal item maximum dimensions 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | weight unspecified
  • Cathay Pacific (Economy/Premium Economy) | 1 piece + 1 small bag maximum dimensions 56cm x 36cm x 23cm + 5cm x 30cm x 40cm | 7kgs + 1 small bag | Cathay Pacific (Business) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 10kgs + 1 small bag | Cathay Pacific (First Class) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 15kgs + 1 small bag
  • China Airlines (Economy/Premium Economy) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 7kgs | China Airlines (Business) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 7kgs + one travel garment bag
  • China Southern Airlines (Economy/Premium Economy/Business) | 1 piece maximum dimensions 115cm | 5kgs | China Southern Airlines (First Class) | 2 pieces maximum dimensions 115cm each | 10kgs
  • Emirates (Economy) | 1 piece maximum dimensions 55cm x 38cm x 20cm | 7kgs | Emirates (Business/First Class) | 2 pieces: one briefcase maximum dimensions 45cm x 35cm x 20cm + either one handbag 55cm x 38 cm or 1 garment bag no more than 20cm when folded | 7kgs per piece
  • Etihad (Economy) | 1 piece total maximum dimensions 40cm x 50cm x 25cm | 7kgs | Etihad (Business/First Class) | 2 pieces total maximum dimensions 40cm x 50cm x 25cm | 12kgs
  • Garuda | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 7kgs
  • Korean Airlines (Economy) | 1 piece + 1 personal item size unspecified | 12kgs | Korean Airlines (Business/Prestige) | 2 pieces size unspecified | 18kgs
  • Malaysia Airlines (Economy) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 7kgs + 1 personal item | Malaysia Airlines (Business/First Class) | 2 pieces 56cm x 36cm x 23cm | 14kgs + 1 personal item
  • Qantas International (Economy) | 1 piece 56cm x 36cm x 23cm or 1 185cm total maximum dimensions non-rigid garment bag | 7kgs + 1 small personal item | Qantas International (First/Business/ Premium Economy) | 2 pieces x 56mcm x 36cm x 23cm or 1 x 56cm x 36cm x 23cm + 1 185cm total maximum dimensions non-rigid garment bag | 14kgs + 1 small personal item | Qantas Domestic | 2 pieces maximum linear dimensions 105cm or one bag total maximum dimensions 105cm plus one non-rigid garment bag total maximum dimensions 185cm or one bag total maximum dimensions 115cm | 7kgs per piece
  • Qatar Airways (Economy) | 1 piece 50cm x 37cm x 25cm | 7kgs + personal items | Qatar Airways (Business/First Class) | 2 pieces 50cm x 37cm x 25cm | 15kgs + personal items
  • Scoot (Economy) | 1 piece or two pieces including a laptop or handbag maximum dimensions 54cm x 38cm x 23cm | 10kgs | Scoot (Biz) | 2 pieces maximum dimensions 54cm x 38cm x 23cm | 15kgs
  • Singapore Airlines (Economy/Premium Economy) | 1 piece total maximum dimensions 115cm | 7kgs + 1 small item | Singapore Airlines (Suites/First Class/Business Class | 2 pieces total maximum dimensions 115cm | 14kgs + 1 small item
  • Tigerair Australia | 1 piece + 1 small item 54cm x 38cm x 23cm | 7kgs | Tigerair's Cabin+ option gives a passenger a 12kg carry-on allowance, starting from $15
  • United Airlines (Basic Economy) | 1 personal item maximum dimensions 22cm x 25cm x 43cm | weight unspecified | United Airlines (other classes) | 1 piece 22cm x 35cm x 56cm, plus one personal item, dimensions as for Basic Economy passengers | weight unspecified
  • Virgin Australia International Long Haul (Economy and Premium Economy)| 1 piece total dimensions per piece 115cm | 7kgs + 1 personal item | Virgin Australia International Long Haul (Business) | 2 pieces maximum total dimensions per piece 115cm | 14kgs + 1 personal item | Virgin Australia Domestic | 1 piece + 1 small bag or briefcase or suit pack or garment bag + one small bag total maximum dimensions 115cm or maximum dimensions 114cm x 60cm x 11cm + 48cm x 34cm x 23cm | 7kgs

With thanks to Michael Gebicki and his article, 'Airlines carry-on limits', Traveller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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