Airlines to reduce cabin baggage size allowances

Eight carriers have already signed up to the new guidelines

Updated: 
Airlines to reduce cabin baggage size allowances

Airline passengers are set to be hit by even tighter controls on luggage sizes if draft guidelines are put into place.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has drawn up plans to reduce the size of carry on luggage by as much as 39%.

New regulations would mean that the maximum size of hand luggage would be reduced to 54.6cm tall, 34.2cm wide and 19cm deep, the Telegraph reports.

Currently, airlines have different regulations over the size and amount of cabin baggage allowed on board their flights.

Ryanair say that passengers may carry one bag weighing a maximum of 10kg, measuring 55cm by 40cm by 20cm as well as another small bag with a maximum size of 35 by 20 by 20 cms.

Easyjet's measurements are slightly more generous with one cabin bag measuring 56 by 45 by 25cm and one additional 'under seat bag' that measures 45 by 36 by 20cm and Virgin Airlines have similar dimensions of 56 by 36 by 23cm.

According to the Nottingham Post, Tom Windmuller, IATA's Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said: "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. We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience."

However IATA have also made it clear that the new plans were only guidelines and individual airlines are still free to set their own regulations.

Eight airlines have already signed up to the new regulations, including: Air China, Avianca, Azul, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar.

If more carriers adopt the new regulations it could prove unpopular with passengers, especially as many budget airlines already charge extra for bags to be checked into the hold.

Easyjet charge between £12 and £22 for items of checked luggage and Ryanair charge between £15 and £50 for checked luggage depending on what time of year you fly and whether you pay online or at the airport.

"It should speed the boarding process," Windmuller added. "We see this as a win, win, win for everybody."

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