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6 surprising rules for carry-on luggage

Ever thought twice about packing a certain item in your carry-on luggage? Not sure it will make it past airport security? Thanks to online travel insurance provider InsureandGo, here are 6 surprising rules for carry-on luggage travelling within or from Australia.

1. What’s included in your weight limit?

Don’t be caught unawares. Your handbag, coat and laptop bag is sometimes part of your carry-on luggage limit on certain airlines. Handbags, laptop bags, small cameras, blankets and overcoats are more likely to count towards your carry-on weight allowance on budget airlines than on full-service airlines.

2. Can I be sure about my valuables?

High-value items are only covered when they are in your hand luggage. Always keep valuable items, such as laptops and cameras, with you. Travel insurers generally do not provide cover if these items are transported in the cargo hold of aircraft, ship, train, tram or bus.

camera in a travel bag
It is safer to always keep valuables with you. Credit: Shutterstock

3. What’s the deal with medicines?

Baby formula, hypodermic needles and certain medicines are allowed in your carry-on if you need them mid-flight. They must be accompanied by medical documentation. If you have a doctor’s note explaining why you need certain medicines or medical items, you can bring them on board. This includes baby formula, prescription and non-prescription medicines, special dietary products, adrenaline auto injectors, insulin injections and more.

5. Liquid restrictions – yes or no?

Liquids, powders, gels or aerosols are not restricted when flying within Australia. There items are only limited if you are travelling domestically but departing from an international terminal. In these scenarios, all aerosol deodorants, hair sprays or shaving gels must have a fitted cap or locking device.

It is not the same story on international flights, You cannot carry more than 100mL of liquid on flights out of Australia. This applies even if the bottle is partially filled. Liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) must be in containers of no more than 100 millilitres or 100 grams. Inorganic powders, such as salt, sand, and some talcum powders, must be in containers of no more than 350 millilitres or 300 grams in your carry-on luggage. You cannot take containers larger than these limits. 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.

family walking through the airport with luggage
Make sure the whole family follows the rules to keep your airport experience stress-free. Credit: Shutterstock

6. What about musical instruments and sports equipment?

Larger musical instruments are permitted. Instruments such as a cello or guitar and large items such as artworks can be brought onto Australian aircrafts as carry-on luggage. If they are classified as bulky items, you may have to notify the airline and purchase an extra seat a seat for them. If you would rather check them in, some airlines allow you to purchase one additional piece of checked-in luggage in advance for a fee.

You can fly with certain recreational, sporting and petrol-powered equipment as part of carry-on. Most Australian airlines allow footballs and basketballs to travel in the cabin, provided they are partially or fully deflated. Squash, tennis and badminton racquets are also allowed. Sometimes, you can also carry avalanche rescue backpacks, camping stoves, and even a heat producing device, such as an underwater diving lamp. On some major airlines, you must obtain airline approval for these goods before flying by submitting a request online.


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