IATA develops new carry-on bag guidelines

11 Jun 2015 by Clement Huang

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has suggested a new set of guidelines for carry-on baggage dimensions to optimise space in cabins.

Developed in partnership with several member airlines and aircraft manufacturers, IATA’s recommendation for optimum size carry-on bags is 55 x 35 x 20cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches).

The trade association believes that if these guidelines were adopted as an industry standard, every passenger should “theoretically have a chance of storing their bags onboard aircraft that offer 120 seats or more”. Thus far, Lufthansa as well as Emirates have confirmed that they will adopt the new guidelines into their practices.

“We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. 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,” said Tom Windmuller, IATA’s senior vice president for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security. 

In comparison to the existing guidelines set forth by several Asian carriers, the IATA’s recommendation is significantly more limited. 

Cathay Pacific for instance has a carry-on baggage size allowance of 56 x 36 x 23cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches), while Singapore Airlines designates that the sum of the length, width and height of each carry-on bag should not exceed 115cm. The IATA’s new recommendation only allows up to 110cm.

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Clement Huang

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