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CARRY-ON: 10 surprising baggage rules you didn't know about

Have you ever thought twice about packing a certain item in your carry-on luggage because you weren't entirely sure that it would make it past airport security?

Have you ever thought twice about packing a certain item in your carry-on luggage because you weren’t entirely sure that it would make it past airport security?

OR have you ever second-guessed yourself after a client asks for your advice on where to pack their new Apple Macbook Pro or if they can fly their late Mother’s ashes to scatter at a meaningful destination?

Believe me, my friend, you are not alone.

With an abundance of hand luggage restrictions in place, it can be pretty confusing. Thankfully for us, Australian travel insurer, InsureandGo, has done all the hard work to reveal the most surprising rules around carry-on luggage in Australia.


1. Don’t be fooled: Handbag, coats & laptops count as carry-on

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, 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.


2. High-value items should always be in your 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.


3. E-cigarettes or other vaping devices should be in your carry-on

As e-cigarettes and other vaping devices use high-discharge lithium batteries, which could be at risk of igniting due to overheating, they must be packed in carry-on luggage only.


4. There are no limits on liquids & 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 on-board 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.


5. You can’t carry bottles bigger than 100mL on an int’l flight, even if they’re partially filled

Liquids, aerosols and gels 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.


6. You can carry cremated human remains onboard

If you have official documentation from the crematorium confirming the contents, ashes are allowed as carry-on baggage on most major Australian airlines. The container used to hold the ashes must be free from contaminants and sealed properly to avoid the risk of accidental spillage.


7. Baby formula, hypodermic needles & certain medicines are allowed in your carry-on

Given that you have a doctor’s note explaining why you need certain medicines or medical items, you can bring them on board if you need them during the flight.


8. Larger musical instruments are permitted & you can even buy a seat for them

Larger musical instruments, such as a cello or guitar, and other large items, such as artworks, can be brought onto Australian aircraft as carry-on luggage. If they are classified as bulky items, you may have to purchase an extra seat a seat for them and notify the airline that the seat is for a bulky item.


9. You can fly with certain recreational, sporting & petrol-powered equipment

Luckily for sports and adventure enthusiasts, your equipment can be brought in as part of your carry-on allowance. For instance, most Australian airlines will allow footballs and basketballs to be carried in the cabin, providing they are partially or fully deflated. Racquets used in squash, tennis and badminton are also allowed in your carry-on.


10. Certain sharp objects are also allowed

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.