Qantas hikes domestic baggage fees

Brace yourself for a 30% increase in excess baggage charges on all domestic flights.

By Chris Ashton, April 10 2024
Qantas hikes domestic baggage fees

April is shaping up to be a month of change for Qantas. Following the debut of its Classic Plus Flight Rewards tier, an increase in Qantas Club membership fees and the introduction of Row 4 extra legroom charges, additional baggage fees on domestic flights are set for a steep rise.

From April 18, travellers checking in an extra bag on top of their included allowance can face a charge of $130 per bag at the airport, up from the previous $100.

These changes will apply only to domestic flights, not international trips.

Unfortunately, it’s not only fees paid at the airport which are on the way up. Additional bags pre-booked online are also increasing by $15 – from the current $50 to $65 per piece.

It pays to book your excess baggage in advance.
It pays to book your excess baggage in advance.

All Qantas domestic fares include one checked bag up to 23kg in economy, or two bags weighing up to 32kg each in business class.

Frequent flyers enjoy a higher baggage allowance in both the weight and number of bags, from one bag of 32kg for Qantas Silvers through to as many as three 32kg bags for Platinum and Platinum One members.

For comparison, Virgin Australia charges different domestic excess baggage rates based on the length of the flight. 

Virgin Australia excess baggage fees.
Virgin Australia excess baggage fees.

Putting those numbers into perspective, a Sydney to Melbourne flight lands at just over 1.5 hours, with excess fees on Qantas coming in at $130 while Virgin is $120.

Longer flights like Sydney or Melbourne to Perth, or Melbourne to Cairns, is where Virgin pushes well above Qantas at $170. It’s a hefty difference.

You may not be smiling when those additional fees are added.
You may not be smiling when those additional fees are added.

Rex Airlines’ model is a little more complicated, with different prices for regional and domestic flights. However, this approach can work out cheaper in the long run, with payments rising at 5kg increments.

For domestic flights like Sydney to Gold Coast, you’ll pay $10 per 5kgs when pre-booked online, while regional flights such as Sydney to Griffith will set you back $20 per 5kgs.

If you leave it to the last minute, you’ll have to pay $5.50 per kilo at the airport. For a 20kg bag, that works out at $110.

Based on the above, Qantas is the most expensive airline for excess baggage on flights under three hours, though comes in much cheaper than Virgin on flights pushing beyond the three hour mark. 

As previously reported by Executive Traveller, Qantas will also begin charging most passengers an extra-legroom fee to sit in row 4 on domestic Boeing 737 flights from April 18, closing a loophole known as the ‘T-80 rule’ through which savvy travellers could snare a free seat in the spacious first row of the economy cabin.

04 Sep 2019

Total posts 54

All the latest Qantas updates just bolster their bottom line. Pretty much none of it is for the customer as a gesture of good will 

30 May 2014

Total posts 11

Couldn't have said it better myself RedWood.

Inflight service and product lagging behind competitors, cabins that don't get the upkeep needed because of the very high utilisation and a fractured reputation but fees keep going up.

There are things QF could be doing now like fixing pain points in the digital space, lounges and onboard.

The only huge improvement I have experienced is in the call centre space. They have improved it significantly with hold times back to reality and service that is efficient, friendly and issues quickly resolved.

The excuses due to lack of aircraft, supply chain issues and MRO availability are real but exacerbated by many years of poor decisions and planning. AJ took the fall but he is not the only one responsible.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 167

Snatch. Grab. Hike. All this week I've as if Alan Joyce never left.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 97

Very well said!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 385

The new CEO is no different from the old one as far as I can tell. Same average service for more money.

Lipstick on a pig so far!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 97

Most of us, probably like yourself, predicted this before she took over. We all had a slim hope perhaps maybe it may change... But she was put there by him, he was never going to select someone that would make him look bad!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 20

Hope that it does not get to this: A few weeks ago WestJet Canada small turboprop 1 hour flight - Paid for 2 Bags - West Jet has a very generous Carry-On allowance = 1 @ 53 x 23 x 38 cm (med suitcase) and 1@ 41 x 15 x 33 cm (laptop bag) and NO weight restriction (must be able to lift it into overhead bin). On these small turbo-prop there is very little overhead bin space . Nett result is a luggage cart is placed at the boarding stairs and by observation 90% of passengers place their carry-on onto this cart which is then subsequently loaded into the luggage hold. Unfortunately both our paid for suitcases well under 23kg were taken off the aircraft either on the tarmac or in the terminal  to allow for all the passengers  carry-on  to be loaded. IT took a week for the 2 suitcases to be reunited with us.  Bottom line: You pay extra for luggage (normal size suitcases) to be loaded onto your flight - it is subsequently taken off to allow for carry-on luggage to fill the now vacant volume of your 2 cases. 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 965

The writing is on the wall for the future with accountants controlling both VA and QF and the consumer coming second. I bet they have also factored in an X amount of lost customers as well. The solution is give landing slots specially in Sydney to Bazza and Sheila (Bonza). Forget about chasing points for international travel, there are cheaper options in the world for business class travel.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 167

We used to say "Lord help us, we're in the hands of lawyers!".......we should change that to accountants.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 712

Now THAT is one seriously clever, cunning and ruthless idea!   I love it!!    BTW, be careful to avoid confusing 'Spreadsheet jockeys' (aka  'Business analysts') with Accountants.  Whilst there are legislative protections behind who can (and who can not) call themselves a lawyer or doctor, you'd be surprised at the low bar applying to 'accountants'.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 371

And the Jetstarisation of Qantas continues. All the latest changes, in the face of shocking customer feedback, is nothing more than changes that make more money for Qantas. Still terrible on board catering, still filthy cabin interiors and still disengaged staff.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 20

Love it: “ Disengaged” - the replacement for the old “Enhancement”.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2017

Total posts 59

We have to understand that Qantas does not exist with a primary focus on providing air services to the travelling public. That stopped when the business was privatised in the 90s. Qantas exists to make money for their shareholders (many of which probably don’t even know they are investors in Qantas) and putting backsides on plane seats is just one way that they make money. Unfortunately we, the travelling public are a problem for Qantas as we not only generate revenue but we are also come at a cost, whether that be our expectation that we have planes that fly, they are clean, there is a crew, we get some sort of meal and we insist on taking luggage with us. Removing operating costs brings the bottom line closer to the revenue (a very high priority of any business) or you can charge more for the the services you provide such as Qantas Club, extra legroom seats or in this case, excess luggage. Qantas has already announced that they project to make squillions from Classic Plus flight rewards at the very same time as they tells us that they are doing us some kind of favour by providing all of these additional ‘free’ reward seats that we have actually already paid for, in some cases many years ago. The analysts crunched the numbers and a high impact decision was made. They identified that frequent flyers were seeing little reason to earn Qantas points if there was no way of using them for flights. The same team of analysts will be looking at the impact of increasing charges. Having to pay for row 4 on a 737 is really annoying for many frequent flyers (I am one of these) but only impacts a maximum of 6 passengers per flight. Charging for extra luggage is also low impact as many frequent flyers can already take 2 suitcases on a flight. Charges will hit the infrequent flyers and Qantas will see minimal risk.

I am sure that there will be more announcements to come!

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 160

I can't argue with anything you have said there APACPete but the people are annoyed because they're not getting what they're paying for. Jetstar is the brand that's supposed to make all the money, with Qantas people pay more and they expect more. If Qantas was performing to expectations, then a hike in baggage fees would be a non-issue. But they hike fees at the same time they're supposed to be improving their brand is an own goal I reckon. If it was me I would have held off on this until the business was cruising again and it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow, but doing it now does nothing for their brand and recovery.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 160

Sounds like someone left the CFO in charge! 

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 95

That’s what happens when one provider has the majority of the market control. 

QF market share is dropping especially internationally & now we have new Turkish flights & soon new DL & AA routes.

20 May 2020

Total posts 5

Open up the domestic airport slots to international carriers and put some real competition in the Australian market.  Federal Govt  has been captured by Qantas however and will never allow the national carrier to face real competition. Just wishful thinking.

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 24

Well what a tragic shame it is to read through the comments posted with so many unsavoury and caustic remarks conveyed by those who have obviously supported the National Airline not only for many years and also during the turbulent times.

I do feel everyone is trying to get their heads around what really is the apparent mindset is of those on the Executive Floor at Mascot now  engaging 'Spin Doctors' to put together what is felt is improvements for the bottom line with little or no benefit in the end of the day to the most important persons who are fact keeping them in a job, being the "Passengers".

Let's all watch this space for the next 'heart rendering' announcement that might disclose serious, meaningful and badly needed improvements that are being continually voiced by the Executive Traveller readers.

Everyone except for those with their heads in the sand, know what needs to be done if the 'Phoenix' is to rise again.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 20

Note to Qantas Management: The next time you have an "Enhancement" announcement staged in front of a Qantas Aircraft surrounded by kowtowing Chairmans Club Politicians and various "invited special guests (never the Paying Public) why not stage the event in front of a Giant Credit Card, A Toaster or Vacuum Cleaner, a billboard promoting Travel Insurance or Health Insurance or even a Tourist Agency promoting Hotels and exotic locations because you have lost the Plot and no longer support  the perceived core business of  QANTAS = Flying your customers. from point A to Point B with a resemblance of customer care. It would appear that Qantas has lost staff loyalty since the outsourcing of almost everything attached to the Core Business of Flying. This latest baggage grab is just another example of the race to the bottom driven by out of touch Management being run by accountants and spin doctors telling us "It will be OK" we are listening (NOT). Most of you on this forum will not be effected by this latest Baggage rule enhancement; but maybe a Family Member , your neighbour or even your local barista will be effected; so how do you push back? Over to you!

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 24

Well said Draper and your sentiments no doubt have the support of the 'savvy' travelers who regularly tune in and read in particular the various articles outlined about Qantas Airways.

The real question is, do any of the 'Powers to be' ever take the time to have a look see and note of what is being posted, either of a constructive nature or otherwise comments of condemnation?.

Should this be the likely, then is it a case that anything of substantial consequence simply 'goes through to the wicket keeper'. 

looked yesterday at flights bne lax in mid Jan. Qantas was cheaper than Fiji Airways. (QF uses a very old A330 & from what I gather that aircraft type was never designed to fly 13 hours, let alone 14 hours coming home). Wonder if it has to stop in Fiji or somewhere else to refuel, like the QF A380 DFW/BNE used to regularly.

qantas is on a downward spiral it might never get out of. Know lots of people flying to USA ex BNE who now fly on United in business(polaris I think it's called) rather than Qantas & Delta & AA will soon be flying nonstop to USA mainland out of BNE, all on much newer aircraft than the old qantas bus.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 26

I suspect the Qantas Board and top execs just don't care that much about what is justifiably being complained about. 

Unless there is a huge exodus by Qantas passengers the Board and execs will put on their muffler of choice to drown out the sound and continue to take their dividends and bonuses.  Customer annoyance with "enhancements" and price gouging, and the relatively small leaking of customers to other airlines, have been factored into the corporate spreadsheet. If you or your companies keep buying business class tickets from them there is no incentive at all to change the soft product. In any case the big money comes from the sale of FF points (what a rort!), government contracts & subsidies, and the accounts of the big corporates. They don't give a fig about small business or your average individual flier.  To boot, they've got the airline ministers (and their shadow) tied around their little finger.

Why should we care about Qantas anymore. Are you brave enough to pause getting Qantas FF points and fly the other major airline for a year?  Perhaps then Qantas execs might have to take notice.

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 65

Most comments smoke and mirrors. People will continue to fly QF as they're nailed on with loyalty and won't change. Particularly the corporate world. 

not BNE LAX BNE on tired old A330 cf much newer B787s with UA to SFO/LAX & A350 with DL & B787 with AA to DFW

fares are falling on most other airlines. Many rusted on Qantas frequent flyers are looking at other airlines now.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas hikes domestic baggage fees