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Domestic Australia Carry-on Baggage Limits

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Mar 29th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #1
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Domestic Australia Carry-on Baggage Limits

So we've booked our NZ and Oz flights, and purchased the checked baggage allowance (as we thought we needed), only to discover that the carry-on size and weight restrictions are different for each airline in Oz. Ugh. The weight part doesn't seem too bad, and a few people mentioned that if you checkin online or at a kiosk, and your bag doesn't look too heavy, and is only slightly over, you'll be fine (is that true in your experience?).

But I'm a bit worried about the size limits. It appears that both Qantas and Jetstar allow 115cm bags (56cm x 36cm x 23cm), as does Air NZ, but Virgin Australia only allows 105cm bags (56cm x 36cm x 23cm). WTF? The really galling part is that our VA flights are part of an international itinerary (from NZ), and typically airlines have more generous allowances for intl itineraries, but apparently not Virgin.

How strictly is this adhered to in practice? Will we really be at risk with a 115cm bag, or is it like the US, where the airlines have carry-on policies (127cm for Virgin America), but they are very rarely enforced, and typically only on full flights and for bags that are well outside the limits. I've got a bunch of 115cm bags and I'd hate to have to buy four 105cm bags if this limit is not really enforced.
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Mar 29th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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kbob - I'm interested in this as well, as we may be in the same boat later in the year, but have you got your dimensions right?

the ones you've posted above for Qantas and Virgin are the same! [56x36x23].
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Mar 29th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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In all my flights within Australia and New Zealand, I've only had carry-on baggage checked twice and both times it was the weight that was checked and it was in Auckland International airport.

I assume it is the size of the overhead locker that's determining the size specifications. I do recall the overhead locker was small when I flew Virgin Brisbane to Sydney last month. I woudl think the issue won't be checking, it will fitting the bag in the locker.
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Mar 30th, 2013, 10:02 AM
  #4
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annhig - you are correct; I am a complete idiot. The Virgin size limit is 48cm x 34cm x 23cm. Oops.

Thanks, Susan7. I'm wondering if a 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (115cm) bag would be close enough that they won't bother checking, especially if it is soft-sided and can be squeezed to fit in whatever overhead bin it's in.
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Mar 30th, 2013, 03:58 PM
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If it's soft sided I'd think you would be alright--is it a duffle bag?

The discrepancies between overhead bag sizes in Australia are because Virgin is the cheap airline--they cut everything they can.

Jetstar is also fairly cheap and nasty but it's Qantas's budget arm so it conforms to their protocols, to some extent. Check-in at peak periods with Jetstar is a total nightmare at Sydney and Melbourne domestic airports.
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Mar 30th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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If it's soft sided and doesn't look 'stuffed' then you should be ok. It really depends on the staff you encounter with each flight. My daughter & her husband traveled all over the US with their back packs as carry on, only to be refused at the gate of their very last leg on Jetstar (as part of their int Qantas flight), Sydney to Melbourne because the something in the front pocket of one of the packs stopped it from sliding into the measuring basket! Even when she removed the protruding bit they still refused it and she had to pay excess baggage and check the bag.
I think you just do your best and be prepared to pay a bit extra if you have to.
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Mar 30th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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I am looking at Jetstar flights from Melbourne to Hobart, Tasmania; and then Hobart to Sydney.

I cannot see where checked luggage is allowed at all. All I see is info on carryon luggage. Even the add on packages don't mention checked luggage.
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Mar 30th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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I figured out how to pay for our checked luggage - all 25kg of it per person. ($23 each)
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Apr 1st, 2013, 10:22 PM
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I never have understood the Australian dislike of Jetstar. I've only had good experiences with their domestic flights.
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Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:57 PM
  #10
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Thanks. I think we'll go with the slightly larger bags, and just be sure not to over-stuff them when we take Virgin. I suppose we'll find out how well it goes.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 05:48 PM
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Just got back a week ago had one flt on Virgin from Sydney to Cairns. The weight limit was 7kilos, They had a scale at both the checked bag location and at the gate.
I moved things around to meet the 7 Kilos. It was soft sided and fit their bag check device.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 10:30 PM
  #12
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colcowan, good to know! I think we will probably be OK. We will have a checked bag to share between a few of us, and I think that gives us enough weight allowance. We'll also put the heavy stuff in my wife's purse!
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Apr 13th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Just got back a week ago had one flt on Virgin from Sydney to Cairns. The weight limit was 7kilos, They had a scale at both the checked bag location and at the gate.
I moved things around to meet the 7 Kilos. It was soft sided and fit their bag check device.>>

presumably you're talking about carry-on luggage? i ask because we are in the process of booking a multi-city trip including at last Virgin Australia flight and i'm assuming that flights that the agent we're using will be booking will include standard hold luggage allowances; i don't think that we can do a 6 week trip with 7kgs of luggage!
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