Your guide to Qantas' international checked bag allowances

Qantas' international checked baggage allowances are a mixed bag, depending on your frequent flyer status and ticket type.

By Staff Writers, February 26 2021
Your guide to Qantas' international checked bag allowances

Passengers may have already noticed changes that have recently taken effect to Qantas’ checked baggage allowances on international flights, depending on where in the world they are going.

The result of these changes is that some travellers will be able to pack more for their trip, while others have seen their complimentary allowances reduced.

Services to North and South America have seen revised baggage rules imposed, with allowances for each passenger based on both their cabin class and their frequent flyer status or Qantas Club membership.

While on flights to other parts of the world, the traditional weight-based system has been revised and aligned to the same status hierarchy.

Here’s everything you need to know regarding Qantas’ international checked baggage allowance, including a breakdown of the most recent updates and how these will affect you.

Qantas international checked baggage allowances to North & South America

For Qantas flights to and from the Americas, the ‘piece system’ applies. This means that the airline restricts passengers to a specific number of bags, rather than a specific overall weight.

Your booked cabin class will determine how many bags you can take to the Americas.
Your booked cabin class will determine how many bags you can take to the Americas.

While this may allow you to pack more depending on the cabin class on your ticket, weight rules do apply when it comes to the maximum load on each individual piece.

Qantas currently offers flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Singapore, Bangkok, Honolulu, Los Angeles and Vancouver – with San Francisco and Santiago returning later this year. 

Qantas checked baggage in First

With the Roo’s Airbus A380 – the only aircraft in the Qantas fleet with a first-class cabin – taking flight again, the airline has maintained its pre-pandemic baggage allowances.

First Class

Number of pieces

Weight restrictions

Size restrictions

Standard allowance

3x bags

32kg per bag

A total dimension of 405cm for the 3 bags and 270 for 2 bags with no single bag exceeding 158cm

Qantas Club, Qantas Silver, Qantas Gold

3x bags

32kg per bag

Qantas Platinum One, Platinum, Chairman’s Lounge

4x bags

32kg per bag

Oneworld Ruby

1x bag

32k per bag

Oneworld Sapphire

2x bags

32kg per bag

Oneworld Emerald

3x bags

32kg per bag

Qantas checked baggage in business class

Qantas Frequent Flyers with Silver status or higher are immune from the change in business class, as are Qantas Club members.

Take up to four bags if you're a top-tier Qantas frequent flyer.
Take up to four bags if you're a top-tier Qantas frequent flyer.

However, those relying on the standard business class allowance lose one bag, as do frequent flyers from Qantas’ Oneworld partner airlines, as below:

Business Class

Number of pieces

Weight restrictions

Size restrictions

Standard allowance

2x bags

32kg per bag

A total dimension of 405cm for the 3 bags and 270cm for 2 bags with no single bag exceeding 158cm

Qantas Club, Qantas Silver, Qantas Gold

3x bags

32kg per bag

Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Chairman’s Lounge

4x bags

32kg per bag

Other Oneworld Sapphire

2x bags

32kg per bag

Other Oneworld Emerald

3x bags

32kg per bag

Oneworld Sapphire includes cardholders like American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum and Platinum Pro, Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold and Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold, among others.

That change reflects Oneworld’s standard global policy, in that Sapphire members only receive extra checked baggage under the ‘piece system’ as above, when their ticket doesn’t already include at least two checked bags.

As such, both the outgoing and incoming allowance for Oneworld Sapphire members is no different to the base allowance provided to status-free travellers.

Oneworld Emerald, on the other hand, covers top-tier travellers such as AA Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey, Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond, and Qatar Privilege Club Platinum.

Under the ‘piece system’, Oneworld Emeralds receive one additional checked bag over and above the standard allowance – so with that standard allowance reducing from three to two checked bags, the Oneworld Emerald allowance similarly drops from four to three bags.

Qantas checked baggage in premium economy

There’s happier news for premium economy travellers, most of whom are able to pack more, without being stung for excess baggage.

Baggage allowances have been increased for many premium economy travellers.
Baggage allowances have been increased for many premium economy travellers.

Premium economy

Number of pieces

Weight restrictions

Size restrictions

Standard allowance

2x bags

32kg per bag

A total dimension of 405cm for the 3 bags and 270cm for 2 bags with no single bag exceeding 158cm

Qantas Club, Qantas Silver, Qantas Gold

3x bags

32kg per bag

Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Chairman’s Lounge

3x bags

32kg per bag

Other Oneworld Sapphire

2x bags

32kg per bag

Other Oneworld Emerald

3x bags

32kg per bag

As in business class, the change to the Oneworld Sapphire allowance mirrors the standard ticketed allowance, as this already includes two checked bags.

Also, with the standard allowance having its per-piece limit amended from 23kg to 32kg, this paves the way for the other increases across the board, with Qantas now applying the same baggage allowance for all of its own elite frequent flyer members and Qantas Club cardholders.

Qantas checked baggage in economy class

Back in economy class, the changes are a mixed bag, with the average traveller able to pack more in one bag, but while jettisoning a second.

Your frequent flyer status will influence your baggage allowance when flying in economy class.
Your frequent flyer status will influence your baggage allowance when flying in economy class.

Economy Class

Number of pieces

Weight restrictions

Size restrictions

Standard allowance

1x bags

32kg per bag

A total dimension of 405cm for the 3 bags and 270cm for 2 bags with no single bag exceeding 158cm

Qantas Club, Qantas Silver, Qantas Gold

3x bags

32kg per bag

Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Chairman’s Lounge

3x bags

32kg per bag

Other Oneworld Sapphire

2x bags

1x 32kg plus 1x 23kg per bag

Other Oneworld Emerald

2x bags

32kg per bag

Of those gaining an improved allowance, the biggest winners are Qantas’ mid-tier flyers and Qantas Club members, who see their total checked baggage limits boosted to 96kg total (3x 32kg), being triple the allowance given to regular economy travellers.

Oneworld Sapphire members also benefit – this time, over and above the standard allowance – as their status provides an additional checked bag of up to 23kg, when the traveller doesn’t already have two bags included.

This sees them able to pack 1x 32kg bag, the same as any economy class traveller, plus a second bag at up to 23kg courtesy of their Sapphire status.

However, the move from 2x 23kg to 1x 32kg at the base level means that Oneworld Emerald members, who are entitled to one additional bag over and above the base limit, will only be able to bring two bags – but they’ll be able to pack more in per bag than they could before.

Qantas international checked baggage allowances to all other destinations

On routes to destinations outside of the Americas - including Australian domestic flights - the weight system’ applies, meaning that the baggage allowance is determined by the total weight of the baggage, regardless of the number of bags they bring.

Frequent Flyer Status

First Class

Business Class

Premium economy

Economy Class

Standard allowance

50kg

40kg

40kg

30kg

Qantas Club, Qantas Silver

62kg

52kg

52kg

42kg

Qantas Gold

66kg

56kg

56kg

46kg

Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Chairman’s Lounge

70kg

60kg

60kg

50kg

Other Oneworld Sapphire

45kg

45kg

45kg

45kg

Other Oneworld Emerald

50kg

50kg

50kg

50kg

Note that no single piece can exceed a total weight of 32kg and total dimensions of 158cm.

Checked baggage allowance for infants and children

As with the rest of travellers, Qantas baggage allowance for infants (aged up to 23 months) depends on the final destination. Those on flights to the Americas are only allowed one piece of up to 10kg and a maximum dimension of 115cm. The same weight limit applies to all other routes with no limit on the number of pieces.

Make sure you're aware of how much luggage you can take for your little ones.
Make sure you're aware of how much luggage you can take for your little ones.

Additionally, for each infant travelling with an adult, up to three infant items, each weighing up to 32kg, can be checked-in free of charge regardless of the final destination.

For children aged between 2 and 11 years inclusive, the same rules as standard travellers apply, with two additional items of up to 32kg permitted free of charge for each child travelling with an adult.

Additional infant and child items can include:

  • baby formula
  • car seat
  • collapsible stroller
  • push-chair
  • collapsible cot
  • bassinet

Checked baggage allowance for medical and mobility equipment

Travellers with medical conditions or reduced mobility are allowed to carry two pieces of mobility equipment in addition to their checked baggage except on flights to the USA, where there is no limit on the number of pieces of mobility equipment allowed to be carried. 

Excess baggage charges

The USA places more emphasis on the number of bags you check in (in industry-jargon, ‘ticketing in piece’) than the weight. Fees payable at the airport are A$300 per bag above your limit. Alternatively, you have the option to buy additional baggage allowance through the Manage My Booking page on Qantas.com.au for lower rates than you would pay at the airport.

Be careful ensuring your bag fits within allocated bag weight limits.
Be careful ensuring your bag fits within allocated bag weight limits.

There’s an additional A$50 ‘heavy charge’ for each piece weighing over 32kg if you’re in economy or premium economy (this is waived for business and first customers).

The rest of the world cares more for how your checked luggage tips the scales (called ‘ticketing in weight’), and thus charges for each kilogram over your total allowance. That tariff is $20/kg for flights to and from New Zealand; $35/kg for Asia; $60 between Asia and London and $80/kg for flights to and from Europe and Africa.

Qantas also offers an unaccompanied baggage service that may be a cost-effective alternative to paying excess baggage fees. However, this is carried on a 'space available' basis and might not necessarily be on the same flight you're travelling on.

Qantas international baggage exceptions

Exceptions to baggage allowances exist for certain destinations and tiers.

If you book international and domestic flights on the same ticket, the international checked baggage allowance applies to both. The international rules also prevail when the international and domestic flights are on different tickets but the connecting time is within the same calendar day.

How to measure dimensions for checked baggage

You'll see many references to "dimensions" above, which refers to the sum of the length, width and height of your luggage, measured in centimetres.

With a tape measure (or even a ruler!), it's very easy to check the dimensions of your own bag, by measuring all three sides and adding the numbers together.

Take this Rimowa Classic Check-in M bag, for instance. Its dimensions are 71cm + 47,5cm + 26cm, which equals 144,5cm. 


Keep in mind that the weight of the luggage itself will restrict how much you can pack, as the weight allowances per bag apply to both the bag and its contents.

In other words, if your bag must weigh 32kg or less, that means 32kg on the scale. If bringing aboard this same 5.3kg Rimowa bag, a traveller would only have 26,7kg left for their own belongings.

Qantas international checked baggage allowance - FAQs

What can I not pack in my checked baggage with Qantas?

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) maintains a list of dangerous goods that can't be brought onboard, including many types of weapons, explosives, dangerous chemicals and batteries. See Qantas' flyer on dangerous goods to see what is permitted, and what needs an exemption to be brought onboard. 

Bags must also meet space dimensions or face being sent as freight.
Bags must also meet space dimensions or face being sent as freight.

Alternatively, forbidden items can be sent as dangerous goods freight.

How can I carry sports equipment with Qantas? 

You can carry sports equipment as part of your checked baggage as long as the following requirements are met:

  •  Each item is checked in as one individual piece
  • The maximum weight of any piece is 32kg
  • All items are properly and securely packed.

Some sporting equipment such as surfboards, skis and sailboards may be too big to be carried as checked baggage and will need to be sent as freight with its corresponding fee.

Note that you will incur charges for any baggage carried in addition to the free baggage allowance but this can be avoided by purchasing an additional baggage allowance before arriving at the airport.

Can I bring pets on Qantas international flights?

Yes. However, this service is only available on selected flights, and bookings must be made through one of Qantas Freight-approved pet travel specialists. 

Note that only service dogs are allowed in the passenger cabin. All other animals travel in a special separate area where the temperature and noise are similar to those experienced in the cabin.

04 Jun 2018

Total posts 25

Unfortunate news for S. America bound travellers in economy. Chris, in general does Qantas recognise the FF status at time of ticketing, boarding or whichever is higher?

Any news of codeshare impact to QF passengers flying on LA or vice-versa? 

Used to carry totally un-necessary stuff because the checked bag limit was so high, now might actually think about what I really need. So often in the past I would come home from a 2-3 week trip with over half of packed clothing not even worn.

Jetstar & other LCCs have educated many that if you want to check more, pay for it & made many realise you don't need anything like what we used to pack, because it was "FREE".

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 38

Yes, but by packing more, you could feel like you were getting better value for money. 

I hardly needed more than 1 x 32kg bag but on trips to London, I would pack 2 additional 32kg bags with bottles of Fanta for the family because in the UK, Fanta was sweetened with Aspartame instead of the sugar which our tastes were used to. Check-in used to find this hilarious.

we used to cart skis/boots/poles when going to USA/Canada. One year, we only had a 23kg checked baggage allowance & managed to each get just under 23kgs each inc skis & we didn't feel like we'd left something at home we needed. The less checked baggage the more freight airline could carry, so either cheaper the fares or more profit to keep airlines afloat.

We were once given standby business class tickets to USA. We didn't get standby on day we wanted, but check in person said 50 empty seats, so should be ok (our tickets had a high priority code, above a bunch of off duty flight attendants) - to cut a long story short, the captain apparently decided to put on more freight & leave seats empty, as flight was weight restricted, so we didn't fly that day.

& Southwest in USA still allow up to 3 checked bags (50lbs/23kgs each inc golf or ski bag) included in all fare types, with no oversize fees.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Apr 2016

Total posts 14

Do business travel and never been near the limits of weights . On international travel in 2021 then Qantas are being sensible with flights to USA and Europe starting in November 21. I disagree with Alan Joyce that people will be wary about going abroad due to Covid. There will be a mass booking of flights if the government release us to travel. We are a world village now, our relatives don’t live 4 doors away. Those days of never leaving the country are gone. Take people from Europe last year during middle of Covid19, all went on international travel. We will have the confidence of having taken a vaccine and probably a multi - variant booster.  Yes still take covid precautions ie masks etc but this virus will be here for many years and we have to live with it . 

15 Jan 2021

Total posts 9

People aren’t travelling if they need to pay $3000 and 2 weeks to spend in a hotel upon return. 

quarantine is now, not after October & probably much sooner.

Fares at Xmas to LA & San Fran return are as low as $999, just not on qantas nonstop flight, but on codeshares, so you can earn qantas points & best of all, you can upgrade straight to business class from any fare by bidding.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 316

Also might be a reflection that Gold and Silver will be where many end up over the next few years, QF can’t keep giving away status every year. 

kev 2003

re your statement

"this virus will be here for many years and we have to live with it ."

Just like the regular flu (103 years or so), this virus will be here forever, you cannot eliminate it.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1446

Regular the flu has been around much longer than 100 years you may be thinking of the Spanish flu which was a particularly nasty variant.

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 100

So PE and J are awarded the same allowance for Oneworld Sapphire? Given the substantial fare difference this seems disproportionate.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 341

QF always inconsitent   -regularly prev=covid travelled in C on LH Group Global fares ex ADL so I could upgrade to F   on LH A380  and LX 777/have a widebody  with C (usually seated in F  thx to LX/UA/customer recognition) to TLV. QF always used as a feeder to *A carrier  in AU, and fare rules, as did/does QF website recognized 3x32 kg when travelling VIA USA  

AND EVERY SINGLE  TIME I was refused my baggage entitlement at SYD when using QF on the same ticket back to ADL - SYD C checkin ALWAYS refused, then had to fight  -showing ticket, fare rules and QF website useless - then usually after they call the Fed Police because you are being a troublemaker asking for your  PAID baggage entitlement ask for a supervisor who ALWAYS says they are doing you a favour  

So lets see how QF ground staff provide the service they are meant to and lets see if they can read their own website with these changes  -

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 463

Why was your baggage not tagged through to ADL when you checked in in TLV, given it was all on the one ticket? 

(Yes obviously you would have to collect the bag at SYD Int for immigration and customs, but the luggage tags should have covered the whole journey to ADL.) 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 341

oh   addendum  flew through SYD  T3 domestic yesterday - NO BUSINESS CHECKIN!!! it ALL USA style self checkin - we still have a business checkin  in ADL  Qantas is NOT a full service airline 

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 319

The charts in the article show that there is now a big incentive for Bronze FF members to achieve Silver Status and so retain their previous baggage limits or have even higher limits.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 316

Good point, and adds a little more reward to lifetime silver, something that is regularly disregarded in value.

08 May 2020

Total posts 75

For a minute i hoped that Qantas reviewed the time it takes for Economy class travellers to receive the checked in luggage at the destination airport.  Bus and Gold card travellers receive it at reasonable time and for the Economy travellers the carousel turns off and lets yo wait Overseas or domestic.  

I prefer to travel Virgin or Singapore air anytime just due to that reason.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1446

Pete I’m platinum and have waited an inordinate amount of time.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Whilst I agree this adds value to Lifetime Silver, in this case the benefits are likely of limited value to me. I generally try to pack light. Last time I went to the US it was a short trip and I only took carry on. I'm more likely to take more checked baggage when going elsewhere than America.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 94

From a large full weight suitcase and a carry-on "drag bag"  for a fortnight+ trip, I revised my needs. For the last few years (when travel abroad was possible), I reduced luggage to the drag bag, even in winter. It's interesting to see that I'm still entitled to the same number and weight of luggage, but I guess I shan't need it, but good luck to those who'll benefit.

03 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

Hey @Chris.  I know this post was quite some time a go, but hoping you might be able to provide some extra insight given Qantas are very hard to contact at the moment.  There seem to be quite a few complaints online that people are being asked to pay for extra luggage on QF flights to the USA, despite being silver ff. A Silver flyer posted on FB yesterday that they were charged for a second bag on QF11 despite the rules on website (and their ticket) showing 3 bags.   In each of these cases, there seems to be a partner flight on the itinerary as well.  

 Interestingly, I have a flight booking later in the year.  I'm Platinum. Multi-city booking. QF metal from Australia to USA, but then a connecting AA flight (and then  another AA>QF on return).  When i log in to the qantas website it tells me my baggage allowance is "1 bag" - and states that the 1 is indicated because of the most restrictive flight.  Login to my app, and the flight out of Australia lists an allowance of 3 bags.  Try to check the return legs and it just throws an error.  As a platinum, i've never had any issues with 3 bags

The Qantas checked baggage website has some weird caveats that are making things rather confusing.

"Note for USA and Canada: Under USA and Canadian regulations, if your ultimate ticketed origin or destination is within the USA or Canada, the airline whose flight number appears for the first flight on your ticket will determine whether its baggage rules or another airline's baggage rules will apply to all the flights in your itinerary. For travel between Australia and the USA, usually (but not always) Qantas' baggage rules will apply. However, please note that any additional allowance for Qantas Frequent Flyers or Qantas Club members applies only to the flights specified."

The "Usually but not always" comment is a bit hard to decipher.  Any idea on how to get more clarity on these USA partner flights?  Do you think this is a result of multi-city bookings?  Or just a broken Qantas backend?


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