IATA recommends smaller carry-on bags for air passengers

9 June 2015 (Last Updated June 9th, 2015 18:30)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released an optimum carry-on baggage size guideline to allow airlines make the best use of their cabin storage space.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released an optimum carry-on baggage size guideline to allow airlines make the best use of their cabin storage space.

The association has suggested a new carry-on bag size of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches), which is said to be is 21% smaller than the existing size allowed by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Developed in association with airlines and aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and Airbus, the new guidelines are expected to provide storage space to all the passengers on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger.

IATA airport, passenger, cargo and security senior vice-president Tom Windmuller said: "The development of an agreed optimal cabin bag size will bring common sense and order to the problem of differing sizes for carry-on bags.

"This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience."

"We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience."

The airline association is working with baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to negotiate with bag manufacturers.

Bags meeting the new specifications would be tagged with an 'IATA Cabin OK' logo.

Once the plan is approved, each bag will carry a special joint IATA and Okoban label along with a unique identification code to make it easier for airlines staff to recognise a bag that complies with the requirements.

Bags carrying the identification label are expected to be available in the market later this year.

While the guidelines have not yet been made mandatory, eight major international airlines including Air China, Avianca, Azul, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar have already agreed to comply with the new specifications.


Image: Bags meeting the new regulations would carry an 'IATA Cabin OK' logo. Photo: courtesy of International Air Transport Association.