Airlines consider shrinking carry-on baggage sizes


American Airlines

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WASHINGTON – The next time you travel, you may need to see just how big your carry-on bag is before you board a flight.

The International Air Transport Association is looking to adopt a maximum size for all carry-ons, which would set a standard for the industry.

The proposed bag size is about an inch smaller all the way around than the bag most airlines currently allow in overhead bins.

Cabin bags will be limited to 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches to create more space for passengers to store luggage.

So far, no North American carriers have accepted the IATA guidelines, several have around the globe.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines say they don’t have any plans to change carry-on guidelines.  Southwest passengers would be among the hardest hit if the recommendation becomes standard across the industry.

Experts say those passengers would lose about 40 percent in bag space. People flying on American or Delta would need bags that are 20 percent smaller.

IATA is working with manufacturers to produce suitcases that fit the specifications and will be labeled “Cabin OK.”

The airlines that have accepted the guidelines are as follows:

  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa
  • Avianca
  • Qatar Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Caribbean Airlines
  • Azul.

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