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Carry-on luggage: size and weight restrictions for international flights

With more travellers opting to leave Australia without checked baggage, knowing which airlines have the most generous offerings in terms of carry-on luggage dimensions and weight is important. Skyscanner Australia has researched the major airlines to see how international carry-on luggage size limits vary from carrier to carrier.

Carry-on weight limit for international flights

As a general rule, all airlines have a weight limit of 7kg for carry-on luggage. A few allow for slightly more, and the standout airlines in this regard are British Airways which lets you take on 23kg (so long as you can put the bag in the overhead lockers unassisted) and United which has no carry-on luggage weight limit.

Carry-on luggage restrictions

Nearly all airlines allow you one bag plus a smaller one, such as a handbag or laptop bag. China Airlines and Emirates, however, make no mention of a second bag on their websites, while Tigerair Australia simply says passengers are allowed two bags onboard with them (weight and sizing restriction apply).

Hand luggage dimensions for international flights

The size of bags you’re allowed to carry-on vary from airline to airline, although there are a few dimensions that occur more than once. From the airlines checked, Thai Airways was the most spacious, allowing bags of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm onboard.

The table below lists the full details of each airline for you to compare and check prior to packing.

What size restrictions are there for hand luggage on international flights?

Each airline has slightly different rules for hand luggage allowances on international flights, with the weight, size and even number of bags different from one company to another.

The standard size for cabin luggage — or the most common, at least — is 56cm x 36cm x 23cm.

Airline Allowance Max Dimensions Max Weight
AirAsia 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 36cm x 23cm 7kg
Air New Zealand 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item Sum of length, width and height must not measure more than a combined 118cm 7kg
British Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 45cm x 25cm 23kg
Cathay Pacific 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 36cm x 23cm 7kg
China Airlines 1 cabin bag 56cm x 36cm x 23cm 7kg
Emirates 1 cabin bag 55cm x 38cm x 20cm 7kg
Etihad Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 50cm x 40cm x 25cm 7kg
Fiji Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 40cm x 23cm 7kg
Garuda Indonesia 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 36cm x 23cm 7kg
Japan Airlines 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 40cm x 25cm 10kg
Jetstar 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 36cm x 23cm 7kg
KLM 1 cabin bag 55cm x 35cm x 25cm 12kg
Lufthansa 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 40cm x 23cm 8kg
Malaysia Airlines 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 35cm x 25cm 7kg
Qantas 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 48cm x 34cm x 23cm 7kg
Qatar Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 50cm x 37cm x 25cm 7kg
Scoot 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 54cm x 38cm x 23cm 7kg
Singapore Airlines 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item Sum of length, width and height must not measure more than a combined 115cm 7kg
Thai Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 45cm x 25cm 7kg
Tigerair 2 bags 54cm x 38cm x 23cm 7kg
United 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 35cm x 22cm No limit
Virgin Australia 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 48cm x 34cm x 23cm 7kg

Personal items include handbag, briefcase, laptop computer, camera bag, crutches, umbrella, etc

Table correct as of 31 December 2017

Hand luggage restrictions

When travelling with hand luggage alone it’s important to remember restrictions on liquids and other prohibited items.

Also if you’re not sure what size luggage you should take away with you, check out our cabin baggage guide which gives you an indication of the size of bag you need for the number of days you’re away.

What size luggage do you need for carry-on?

Whether you’re going away for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks, it’s entirely possible to travel with just hand luggage. If you’re not sure how much you’ll need to pack, this image gives an idea of the size of luggage you’ll need for carry-on, for trips of all lengths.

Now you know how much you can squeeze into your carry on luggage, it’s time to find some great travel deals on Skyscanner Australia. Compare cheap flights, hotels and car hire.

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