Aviation

World’s leading airlines pick ‘perfect’ carry-on bag size

Daisy Melwani

Get ready to buy new slightly slimmer carry-on baggage for your next flight.

IATA has addressed the all too consuming issue of airline passengers attempting to stow away carry on bags in overhead bins, which doesn’t quite fit leading to lengthy delays and eventually requiring numerous passengers and crew’s assistance.

Well, thankfully IATA leaders now agree, the world’s airlines need to standardise the size for luggage that passengers are allowed to bring on board.

And no, shopaholics, this isn’t good news for you.

The new guidelines proposed are to limit size of bags to 55 x 35 x 20 cm (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches), which mean slightly slimmer luggage than what is currently the standard across most carriers flying from Australia on international flights. Currently Qantas and Virgin Australia allow 48cm x 34cm x 23cm bag size on domestic Australian flights, but 56cm x36cm x 23cm on international long-haul legs.

Image: SMH
Image: SMH

IATA officials claim the smaller bag limits will theoretically allow everyone on a plane to fit one carry-on bag into the overhead bins.

“This is a program that is designed to make things easier for everyone,” IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, Tom Windmuller, said.

Windmuller said some 30 to 40 carriers expressed interest in accepting the IATA guideline, and a dozen foreign carriers, including Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Qatar, who are apparently already on the move to making it official.

“This should bring a degree of standardisation to the industry and make it easier for everyone concerned,” he said.

IATA is in the works to develop carry-on bags that meet the new size guidelines, with an “IATA Cabin OK” logo to signify to airline staff the bag is a-ok for boarding.

“We are confident that over the next several months we will get a number of major airlines coming on board,” Windmuller said.

IATA is also working with baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to manage the approval process of bag manufacturers.

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