Surprising carry-on luggage rules

Ever thought twice about packing a certain item in your carry-on luggage, because you’re not sure it will make it past airport security?

Australian airlines have a plethora of hand luggage restrictions that can be tricky for Australian travellers to adhere to, especially if they are taking all their travel belongings on in their carry-on luggage, explains InsureandGo’s Jonathan Etkind.

“Not only do passengers need to be wary of bringing a bag that weighs more than the maximum allowed limit, as this can result in additional fees, but they also need to know what items they are not permitted to take on the plane,” Mr Etkind said.

All bags count
Your handbag, coat and laptop bag will be part of your carry-on luggage limits on certain airlines. If you think your weekender bag was the only piece that counted as carry-on luggage, think again. When bringing a handbag or another personal item, such as a laptop bag, a small camera, or even a blanket or overcoat, these items will likely count towards your carry-on weight allowance on budget airlines but will be excluded in your hand luggage allowance on full-service airlines.

Keep high-value items in hand luggage
Always keep valuable items, such as laptops and cameras, in your carry-on luggage, as travel insurers generally do not provide cover for these items if they are transported in the cargo hold of any aircraft, ship, train, tram or bus. You will only be covered for such items in your check-in luggage if airport security forced you to transfer them from your carry-on to the cargo hold, and they got damaged.

Liquid luggage
There are no limits on liquids and powders in your carry on, when flying domestically. When flying within Australia, there are no restrictions on the quantity of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels you can bring onboard, provided it meets your carry-on size and weight limits. There are only limits on these items if you are travelling domestically and departing from an international terminal. In these scenarios, all aerosol deodorants, hair sprays or shaving gels must have a fitted cap or locking device.

Liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) must be in containers of no more than 100mL or 100g – and inorganic powders, such as salt, sand, and some talcum powders, must be in containers of no more than 350mL or 300g – in your carry-on luggage for international flights out of Australia. You cannot take containers larger than these limits, even if they are partially filled. For example, a 200g toothpaste tube that is half full is not allowed. However, there are no restrictions on organic powders, such as baby formula, protein powder and coffee.

Some sharp objects are okay
There are even sharp objects you can bring in your hand luggage allowance, such as knitting and crochet needles, umbrellas and safety razors. Pointed metal nail files are also allowed when flying in or out of Australia. However, pointed metal scissors, including manicure scissors and scissors with blades more than 6cm long, are prohibited in your carry-on.

Human remains are also fine (if cremated)
If you have official documentation from the crematorium confirming the contents, you can bring ashes as carry-on baggage on some major Australian airlines. The container used to hold the ashes must be free from contaminants, such as soil, and sealed properly to avoid risk of accidental spillage.

What is the strangest thing you have seen a fellow passenger try and bring on the plane as carry-on luggage?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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