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Published on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

IATA global standard could mean smaller carry-on allowance

The International Air Transport Association wants to implement a global standard for the size of carry-on bags allowed in overhead bins on planes.

However it is likely to find little favour with flyers as the new recommended size would be smaller than current sizes allowed by most US airlines.   

IATA proposed a standard size for bags of 21.5 inches long by 13.5 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep in order to "optimize the accommodation of carry-on bags given differing carry-on bag sizes and airline policies," according to IATA vice president Tom Windmuller.

"It is a program that's designed to make things easier for everybody, first and foremost for the passenger."

Delta, American, United and JetBlue already allow carry-on bags slightly bigger than this proposed standard while customers of Alaska Airlines will really feel the pinch.

Alaska currently permits carry-on bags of up to 24 x 17 by 10 inches, which is a whopping 87% more than IATA's recommended size based on cubic inches.

Southwest Airlines also allows free carriage of carry-ons of a similar size.

Windmuller said about 40 carriers have expressed an interest in adopting the new guidelines.

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