British Airways is reducing the size of carry-on baggage permitted on board its flights.
From August 18, the size of each passenger’s personal handbag/laptop bag can be no larger than 40 x 30 x 15cm so that it can be stowed beneath the seat in front. The current maximum size allowed is 45 x 36 x 20cm.
The airline will continue to allow passengers to take two pieces of hand luggage into the cabin and the size of the second, main cabin bag will remain unchanged at 56 x 45 x 25cm.
BA said the move is as a result of “an increase in customers travelling with hand baggage that exceeds their allowance”.
World Traveller (economy) and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) passengers will receive a yellow tag for handbags and laptop bags that are within the new dimensions – once tagged, BA said it guarantees this baggage will be allowed on board.
Passengers with hand baggage that exceeds the new dimensions will be asked to check it into the hold, while on “very busy flights” where the overhead lockers are full some passengers may be asked to check their baggage without yellow tags into the hold.
Also on August 18, the carrier is changing the way in which passengers board their flight, with the order determined by cabin and Executive Club status. World Traveller passengers will then be asked to board by seat row number.
BA said in a statement: “We know that customers want their flights to leave on time, so we are looking at a number of initiatives to help us maintain punctuality. We are asking customers to help us achieve this by adhering to our hand baggage allowance.
“We will continue to offer a generous two bag allowance. The dimensions of the cabin bag will remain the same, while we are reducing the size of the second, laptop or handbag, so that it will fit underneath the seat in front.
“Customers will always be able to take this bag on board, even if the flight is very busy.”
Last month, IATA recommended the optimum size for carry-on bags is 55 x 35 x 20cm (see news, June 11). However, a week later it announced it had “paused” the initiative to begin a “comprehensive reassessment in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America” (see news, June 18).