6 Tips for airport check-in & carry-on luggage

February 23, 2018

As 2018 gets underway, you may be thinking about your next holiday. The weeks seem to come and go so quickly, that your next holiday will come around soon enough. Here’s 6 important tips about carry-on bag and check-in luggage size to make sure you never have to worry about over-packing.

Travel only with carry-on luggage

The benefits

There are many benefits to traveling with hand carry luggage (within the limits of your airline’s carry-on luggage rules). It’s much quicker, as you won’t need to que to check-in or drop your bag at the baggage counter. You can also save time by checking in online, before you arrive at the airport. Then, when you arrive at your final destination you will also save time, by not waiting at the luggage carousel to collect your bag.

It can be safer, as you keep your luggage bags with you at all time. It can also be cheaper, as even taking one checked-in suitcase has a fee for certain airlines. Lastly, because of all of the previous benefits, you will ultimately avoid the stress and hassle of being weighed down by heavy flight luggage and suitcase packing.

How to pack
If you only want to take carry-on luggage with you for your next holiday, you will have to learn to pack wisely. Make sure you’re aware of the dimensions and weight of the airline’s allowable carry-on luggage. This will ensure that you don’t get stung at the airport by having to check-in your luggage, and possible fees for excess weight. Regarding toiletries for international flights, make sure there are no liquids above the 100ml, as they will be confiscated for security reasons.

For more information about packing, ready our handy packing checklist.

Pay attention to your luggage size

Higher fees for more checked bags
Over-packing is easy to do, especially if you are going on a holiday for several weeks. And if it does not fit in one, many of us have the urge to take a second bag. While in some cases, you will be able to check-in one flight luggage piece for free, most will charge additional fees, after the first checked bag. It may be wise to pack some items into your hand carry luggage, instead of taking a second suitcase. Just watch that your carry-on luggage is not oversized, outside allowable luggage weights.

Higher fees for heavier and larger checked bags
Making sure your checked-in luggage size is within the limit is very important, as most airlines will either not allow you to check in oversized and overweight items, or will make you pay an extra fee for it. Standard luggage sizes vary when you buy luggage Australia wide or overseas, so check your dimension requirements for flight luggage restrictions, prior to purchase or heading off.

If it is over the limits, you may be forced to either throw away some of your items, or buy a new flight luggage and check in a second bag. In some cases, the airline will charge a fee for every extra kilogram. And that fee is not small, often a few hundred dollars for every extra kilo. So, weigh up the maximum luggage size, versus what you really need to take with you – as it may not be worth it! Otherwise, shipping luggage to Australia (or shipping luggage from Australia may even work out to be a more cost-effective option.

Baggage fees often change from one airline to the next

Baggage fees may vary depending on the airline or the flight you take
Many times, the luggage size and weight rule of carry-on and checked flight luggage will differ from one company to the next, or from one flight to the next. For example, international flights usually allow for one free checked in luggage item, whereas some domestic airlines do not. Check international flight luggage limits, compared to domestic flights.

Your airline may have different rules depending on the type of aircraft. Make sure to check on your airline’s website, or you may be forced to check-in what you interpreted as a standard luggage size carry-on, for example. And if you are still not sure, you can always contact your local ATAS travel agent, to seek guidance. ATAS accredited travel agents are professionals, so can offer sound advice when preparing for travel, and what check-in luggage size or carry-on luggage size are allowable.

Look at your airline fee policies before buying your ticket

While researching flights, you should also always review the airline luggage size policies. For example, if you are wondering about the maximum luggage size and allowed weight, or how much baggage you can check-in for free, you should find all the answers on the airline website. For hassle free advice, simply consult your ATAS travel agent or search the list for an accredited ATAS travel agent in your area.

Waive your fees

Depending on your circumstances, airlines may be able to waive your check-in fees. If you are a premium member of your airline’s frequent flyer program for example, this may be possible. For other circumstances, check your airline website to see if you qualify to have your fees waived or allowances increased (based upon your flight conditions purchased).

Traveling in a group? Reduce your fees!

It’s time to be strategic. Each person traveling will have the same free baggage size allowance. This means that if you have over-packed, you could ask one person in your family who has under-packed, to take some of your items. Or ask at check-in, if you can combine the weight allowance of you and your travel companion. Else, your travel agent will often know what is allowable, under an airline’s policies – so just ask them!

If you are traveling as a family, children will typically also have the same allowance. So, get those luggage scales, travel blanket, the first aid kit, that umbrella, or extra pair of shoes into your child’s suitcase, and don’t pay any additional fees for it.

Make this trip a holiday to remember. Lean on the expert guidance of your ATAS accredited travel agent, when booking your next holiday. They’ll ensure you have all the information you need, about every aspect of your trip, including flight luggage allowances. 

So, get ready for your next adventure. And if you’re not sure about your future destination, we have plenty of holiday hotspots for some inspiration!


Group 4Created with Sketch.


Switzerland Essentials – Six Must Do Experiences when Visiting Switzerland

August 30, 2023

A Travellers Guide to Exploring the World Safely

August 14, 2023

Great Summer Holiday Destinations

January 21, 2021

Send us an enquiry


Join our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips from our ATAS travel experts.