Tips for flying with golf clubs in Australia

Summarising the small print for travelling with golf clubs on Australia’s domestic airlines.


UPDATE: We have updated the details for flying with golf clubs in Australia. Please refer to this article:
Australian airlines add extra fees for travelling with golf clubs

Like every other Christmas, I travel interstate to see family and take the golf clubs along. I got a rude shock this year when I checked in my bags at Qantas to find that the rules concerning flying with golf clubs have changed.

Qantas now have a “1 piece of check-in baggage only” rule which means that even if your golf clubs and baggage is under your total baggage weight limit, you must still pay to check-in the extra piece of baggage.

I’ll clarify what this means. Let’s say your golf bag weighs 12kg and your bag weighs 10kg. If you check both items in, you will be forced to pay extra ($30) for an additional piece of baggage even though you are still under the allowed 23kg weight limit.

With this in mind and the confusion we have regarding baggage allowance each time we travel with a different airline, I thought it is a good time to review the rules for travelling with golf clubs on Australia’s domestic airlines; Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways. All rules are outlined for travelling regular economy class


qantasAs of June 2011, Qantas domestic flights have changed from a weight allowance to a piece allowance with a maximum weight. A purchased ticket now only includes one piece of check-in baggage up to a maximum of 23kg (when travelling economy or premium economy). The rule also applies to Qantas frequent flyer and club members.

Your golf clubs will cost you $30 extra if you check them in at the airport, or you can pre-purchase an extra piece online before you fly for $20. Additional pieces of baggage (i.e. your 3rd piece) will cost you $60. From what I can tell, purchasing additional baggage cannot be done during the flight booking process. Annoyingly, it must be done online between 7 days and 3 hours before departure.

Tip 1: Travel lightly. Check-in your golf bag and take the rest of your gear as carry-on baggage (under 7kg).
Tip 2: Pack all  your clothes in your golf bag. As long as the weight doesn’t exceed 23kg, you’re fine.
Tip 3: If you’re going to purchase an extra piece of baggage to check-in, you should do it online (after you’ve booked your flight) between 7 days and 3 hours before departure.

See more information on baggage at the Qantas website.

virginVirgin Australia

Virgin Australia still adhere to the weight baggage allowance rule and golf clubs are part of your checked baggage allowance. But you will need to purchase your baggage allowance when you purchase your ticket.

A 23kg checked baggage allowance will cost you $12 online or $40 at the airport. Once purchased, as long as the total weight of your golf clubs and baggage isn’t more than 23kg, you’re fine.

Tip: Buy your baggage allowance when you book your flight, otherwise you’ll get stung at the airport.

See more information on baggage at the Virgin Australia website.


The Jetstar baggage rules are also a weight-based allowance system, but are perhaps, a little more complicated. Some might say, more flexible.

You can choose what your total baggage allowance will be, based on your travel needs. On short-haul domestic flights, 25kg will cost you $25 on top of the price of the flight. If you think you can pack your golf clubs and baggage for less than 20kg it will cost you $16.

Tip: Jetstar provide plenty of options, just make sure you pay for your baggage allowances when you book your flight. If you can pack lightly, you should be able to get your bags and your golf clubs checked-in for less than $25.

See more information on Jetstar baggage information.

tiger airwaysTiger Airways

Not surprisingly. Tiger Airways offers the least attractive option for golfers. While you may get to your destination cheaply, golf clubs will cost you extra. A full $60 extra to be precise.

Yes. Every time you take golf clubs on a flight with Tiger Airways it will cost you an extra $60 no matter what sort of baggage allowance you pay for.

Tip: Do I really need to spell out the tip here? Just make sure the price of your ticket is cheap enough to justify the cost of taking your golf clubs.

See more information on Tiger Airways baggage information.

In summary, all airlines seem to be converging when it comes to travelling with golf clubs. The Qantas baggage allowances seem unsuitable given that most golfers can travel with their golf clubs and baggage for less than the maximum weight limit.

Just be aware that travelling with golf clubs is not as convenient as it used to be. If you haven’t read the small print regarding baggage allowances, don’t be surprised if you’re hit up for more cash at the airport to get your golf clubs on the plane with you.

10 thoughts on “Tips for flying with golf clubs in Australia

  • January 12, 2012 at 23:14

    There may be a great invention coming soon- a golf bag that doubles as a great piece of luggage. All under 23k specially purpose made.

    I just want a 5% profit share when you do it please;)

    • November 16, 2012 at 04:53

      i have got one. eagles and birdies make it. Traveling to Melb from Brissie this weekend to do some damage on the sandbelt. flying virgin. so everything should be under 23kg.

  • January 12, 2012 at 23:33

    I travel quite a lot, work and golf, and I can say we are still much better off than our US counterparts, although we are moving closer to the same requirements as time goes by.

    If your smart with your luggage you can get away without paying extra (Qantas only now). As Aussie Golfer said, put clothing/shoes in the golf bag, I do this all the time, which makes carry on a bit lighter.

    I was dissapointed on my last US trip where I had intended to take the clubs with me. You pay for every piece of luggage, which in my case was $60 extra for every flight, unless you have higher flying status with a partner airline. But I have read that they will now be ensuring only golf clubs/balls and shoes are in a golf bag, not that I can see the sense in this.

    The most annoying thing I find with the charging for luggage, is that people will bring as many bags as possible on the aircraft, sometimes way over the allowed size. This slows the boarding process and usually sees delayed flying times.

  • January 13, 2012 at 02:16

    As a few on Twitter have mentioned, you can get those large, tour type golf bags which give plenty of room for extra clothing.

  • January 15, 2012 at 07:04

    6 of us came over from NZ to Melbourne for the Presidents Cup. We picked up cheap travel bags that your golf bag fits in with plenty of room for all your other clothes as well. If you pack properly you don’t really need to load up the carry on.

  • December 7, 2012 at 02:23

    Last time I checked, Virgin allow an extra 5kgs if travelling with golf clubs, taking the total to 28kgs, and the extra 5kg’s is FREE.

  • February 13, 2018 at 10:59

    travelling to queenstown N .Z. for a week of golf bag weight with clubs only is 13,3 kgs.can I place some items of clothes and shoes in golf bag but not exceeding 23kgs and not pay any fees .also taking 7kgs carry on as allowed

    • February 23, 2018 at 20:36

      I think it depends who you’re flying with Graham, but it’s certainly something I do within Australia with Virgin and Qantas. Jetstar will charge extra because it’s oversize golf clubs.


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