Agreed: This is how big your carry-on baggage should be

The group's proposed ideal-sized carry-on bag would allow every passenger on most flights to fit one into the overhead compartment
The group's proposed ideal-sized carry-on bag would allow every passenger on most flights to fit one into the overhead compartment David Stuart

AN AIRLINE industry group has developed a new system to tackle problems around oversize carry-on baggage.

The International Air Transport Association has announced a new initiative to improve the accommodation of carry-on bags given differing carry-on bag sizes and airline policies.

The association said today that after working with airlines and aircraft manufacturers an optimum size guideline for carry-on bags has been agreed that will make the best use of cabin storage space.

A size of 55 x 35 x 20 cm meant that theoretically everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger.

Problems storing oversize carry-on luggage - more common since many airlines started charging for bags in the hold - have caused frustration on flights around the world.


An "IATA Cabin OK" logo to signify to airline staff that a bag meets the agreed size guidelines has been developed. A number of major international airlines have signalled their interest to join the initiative and will soon be introducing the guidelines into their operation, the association said in Miami, where it is holding its annual meeting.

"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," said Tom Windmuller, IATA's senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.

IATA is working with baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to manage the approval process of bag manufacturers. Each bag meeting the dimensions of the specifications will carry a special joint label featuring IATA and Okoban as well as a unique identification code that signals to airline staff that the bag complies with the optimum size guidelines.

Several major baggage manufacturers have developed products in line with the optimum size guidelines, and it is expected bags carrying the identifying label will start to reach retail shops later this year.

Topics:  airlines air travel travel

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