Choosing The Right Carry-On Bag For You

When you line up to board the aeroplane with your carry on luggage are you confident the stern-looking hostess will let you board without question? Or are you worried you will be embarrassed? Well know the Facts about the size and weight of cabin bag restrictions on airlines and relax.

A typical traveller has a cabin bag plus a handbag or laptop bag. they simply want to know if their cabin bag complies with airline regulations. (For other options refer to Detailed view)

Disclaimer: This general view was accurate as of September 2014. Please check your flight conditions and airlines website to confirm.


Size: On most domestic and international flights within and leaving Australia, the maximum size for a cabin bag or other carry on luggage is 115cm linear.

Carry-on allowance

115cm linear means the height + the width + the depth of your cabin bag must add up to 115cm or less.

NB h= height from the ground to the top of the handle, (including the wheels).


Domestic Qantas and Jetstar flights and most international airlines have 115cm as their maximum cabin luggage size restriction.

Carry on baggage restrictions on the Virgin & Tigerair websites are more restrictive, but travellers compliant with 115cm are rarely bothered.


Weight: For the typical airline traveller with a cabin bag, the key restriction is a 7 kg weight limit. There is a variation amongst the airlines on what is included, but if you stay below 7kg, you can relax and be compliant on the vast majority of domestic and international flights.


Purchasing a cabin bag?

Samsonite, Antler, Delsey, IT Luggage and the majority of luggage manufacturers supply cabin bags that are 115cm linear. (But if it looks too big, measure it). Hence relax and buy the cabin bag you like with confidence. The key feature of a cabin bag is its weight. With only a 7 kg limit, most travellers want a very light backpack so that they can pack the maximum luggage. This trend is assisted by the fact the cabin bag is not checked in and hence not exposed to baggage handlers, and thus does not need to be as strong as checked baggage.

Example –

Samsonite S’Cure cabin bag is built for strength, security and water resistance, and weighs 2.9kg.

Samsonite 72 Hours cabin bag is built to be as light as possible, with maximum volume, and weighs 1.8kg. (Nearly ½ the weight of the S’Cure)


Detailed View:

As every airline is a unique business and has different classes of fares, and use different aeroplanes, the regulations governing what a passenger can carry onto the plane, will vary.

Also, passengers carry different types of luggage e.g.

Small Bag = 105cm linear.

Non rigid garment bag = 185cm linear.

Personal item = laptop, handbag etc.


Qantas (Please refer to Qantas Carry-on Baggage Allowances)

(A)    Domestic

(i)                   1 Bag = Max of 115cm and 7 kg = 7 kg Total

(ii)                 2 Bags = max of 105cm each and 7kg each = 14kg Total

(iii)                1 Bag + 1 Garment bag = 105cm + 185cm of 7 kg each = 14 kg Total


(B)    International = as above

Except in first/business/premium Economy class flight.

If carrying 2 bags = max of 115cm + 7kg each = 14kg Total.


Jetstar (Please refer to Jetstar Carry-on Baggage Allowances)

(i)                   1 Bag = Max of 105cm + 7kg = 7 kg Total

(ii)                 2 Bags + Personal Item = 2 x 105cm + 1 item  = 7 kg Total

(iii)                1 Bag + Garment Bag = 1 x 105cm + 1 x 185cm = 7kg Total

Business Class = 2 Bags x 115cm + 10kg each = 20kg Total


Virgin (Please refer to Virgin Australia Carry-on Baggage Allowances)

 (i)                   1 Bag = Max of 105cm + 7kg = 7 kg Total

(ii)                 2 Bags + Personal item = 2 x 105cm + item = 7 kg Total

(iii)                1 Bag + Garment Bag = 1 x 105cm + 1 x 185cm  = 7kg Total

 International Business = 2 bags x 105cm + 7kg each + Personal item = 14 kg Total



 (i) 2 Bags = Max of 115cm + 10kg = 10 kg Total 

Note: Few luggage manufactures make small 105cm suitcases. Luggage Direct only carries the Samsonite B’Lite 4 55cm.