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Millions of travellers may have to buy smaller cabin bags after airlines announce new carry-on size

Millions of travellers worldwide may have to buy new carry-on luggage or risk penalty fees after the air transport chiefs unveiled a new one-size-fits-all plan at the annual International Air Transport Association (IATA) conference in Miami.

The new standard size for carry-on luggage is smaller than that offered by the majority of airlines today, which means millions of passengers could get caught out if it comes into effect. The new plan was announced to combat the various rules which airlines have on the maximum size of carry-on luggage; this can cause trouble for some travellers especially if they are transferring between flights.

The new guides state that the maximum size of a carry-on bag should be 55cm x 35cm x 20cm, which is currently smaller than the allowance allowed by British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic.

Emirates, Qatar and Lufthansa airlines have all come out in support of the new plan, with other airlines expected to follow suit in the coming months.

IATA spokesman Tom Windmuller accepted that the new plan might upset some travellers, but insisted that the current system was a ‘nuisance for everyone’. He said, “It is not only passengers that are suffering from not knowing which size of bag they have. You have all seen the fights at gates over whether a passenger can bring a bag on or not. 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.”

The IATA have been in contact with its 260 members about the new plan and most are expected to sign up to it in the near future.

An EasyJet spokesman told the press, “This is a smaller bag than we currently allow on board, but there is no doubt that an overall standard across all airlines would help customers.

“We will be assessing it with a range of other cabin initiatives to ensure we deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”



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