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International body suggests reduction in airline cabin bag size

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Staff writer ▼ | June 12, 2015
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 260 airlines worldwide, is working on a plan to reduce the size of carry-on bags.
Airplane luggage
IATA   The International Air Transport Association
The move is for the best use of cabin storage space and probably to introduce a single luggage policy.

IATA is currently in discussion with airline members and manufactures to standardize the dimension of the bag to 55 x 35 x 20 cm or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches.

Currently the size of the carry-on baggage and weight vary for different airlines. In future, the bag with the agreed size will carry 'IATA Cabin OK' logo. IATA said airline companies have expressed their willingness to join the initiative.

Tom Windmuller, IATA's senior vice president for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security 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. 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 industry trade body is in discussion with Geneva, Switzerland - based baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to introduce a unique identification code for carry- on bags, so that airline staff can easily recognize the right sized bags. The logo will also help recovery of the bag in the event baggage has been misplaced or lost.

Air Canada and WestJet say they won't reduce the size of permitted carry-on luggage to go along with new voluntary international guidelines.

Air Canada, which requires passengers to check baggage larger than its maximum carry-on dimensions, said it is satisfied with its luggage size rules but supports the general concept of industry harmonization.

But that could cause problems and possibly result in checked baggage fees for Air Canada and WestJet passengers boarding connecting flights with other airlines.

"If our guests are connecting with another carrier via WestJet, they are encouraged to review the other carrier's baggage requirements prior to travel to ensure their baggage is compliant," WestJet's Thorsteinson Ogle said.