Uncertainty over IATA smaller carry-on bag guidance

18 Jun 2015 by GrahamSmith

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is reconsidering its recommendation of smaller carry-on baggage to optimise space in cabins.

Earlier this month, IATA suggested the optimum size for "Cabin OK" carry-on bags is 55 x 35 x 20cm (see news, June 11).

The organisation has now "paused" this initiative to begin a "comprehensive reassessment in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America".

IATA said in a statment: "The initiative provides consumers with a voluntary option to use a Cabin OK labelled bag... that would (1) be immediately recognisable as complying with the vast majority of airline maximum size requirements for cabin baggage and (2) be given a priority (determined by airlines individually) to remain in the cabin on full flights when cabin storage capacity is exceeded."

Although airlines including Lufthansa and Emirates confirmed that they would adopt the new guidelines, IATA's recommendation was significantly smaller than the existing maximum cabin bag size at many airlines. For instance, British Airways and Easyjet both have a maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm.

IATA senior vice president Tom Windmuller said: "While many welcomed the Cabin OK initiative, significant concerns were expressed in North America. Cabin OK is a voluntary programme for airlines and for consumers. This is clearly an issue that is close to the heart of travellers. We need to get it right.

"Today we are pausing the roll-out and launching a comprehensive reassessment of the Cabin OK program with plans to further engage program participants, the rest of our members, and other key stakeholders."

Graham Smith

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