By now, you’ve probably heard that IATA, the International Air Transport Association, a trade group representing most of the world’s airlines, has proposed a new standard sized carry-on bag.
Measuring 55 x 35 x 20 cm/21.6 x 13.8 x 7.8 inches, the new standard would mean that all carry-ons should fit in the overheads of most planes.
Today, airlines decide for themselves what their carry-on limits will be but it can get confusing for passengers who might make connections from one airline to another when both have different rules.
If IATA’s new rules are adopted, which will be voluntary by the airlines, new bags being made to meet these dimensions will carry a sticker saying they are “IATA Cabin OK.” Older bags won’t get a sticker. (And no one has said anything about overpacked, bulging bags that carry the sticker.)
IATA says they are working with luggage manufacturers to come up with new bags to fit these measurements and have worked with both Boeing and Airbus to find the best size. (This is interesting since both aircraft manufacturers have started to make larger overhead bins to accommodate the larger number of bags.)
But let’s look at what it may really mean. If these new rules are adopted, airlines would make more money checking bags that don’t meet the dimensions. Luggage manufacturers will make money because people will have to go out and buy new bags. And no one knows how much IATA will get for the use of their name on the tags.
So is this really a way to make it easier for passengers to take aboard their carry-ons or is it just a hidden way for lots of companies to make extra money?
Not surprisingly, U.S. based airlines are not jumping on the bandwagon. After all, their best customers, the full fare paying, last-minute business flyer has already spent hundreds of dollars on a Tumi or Briggs & Riley roller. They won’t like having to buy a new bag. All it will take is one airline to keep their current, larger carry-on dimensions and the rest will follow. They don’t want to lose these customers.
Boeing announced that it will take the already minuscule toilets on their 777-300ER and make them smaller. By doing so, they will be able to add 14 more seats.
Seriously? With the traveling public getting bigger and the bathrooms getting smaller, this could make for some interesting situations.
Just how desperate are the airlines to make money?