British Airways reduces the size of hand luggage

Airline wants to speed up the boarding process

Updated: 
Heathrow Airport - Stock

Carry-on travellers flying with British Airways will need to re-think their packing routine as the airline is shrinking its hand baggage allowance over the next few weeks.

The size for handbags and laptop bags will change from 45x36x20cm to 40x30x15cm, meaning passengers will need to pack more of their belongings in their second cabin bag and carry smaller handbags or purchase new laptop bags.

The additional cabin bag size will remain unchanged at 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.

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British Airways says: "In the next few weeks, we will be reducing the size of the handbag/laptop-sized hand bag and updating some of our procedures. These changes will help to speed up the boarding process and ensure our aircraft are ready to depart on time.

"The maximum size of the handbag/laptop bag is being reduced to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm (16in x 12in x 6in). The size of the additional cabin bag remains unchanged and should be no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in) and can weigh up to 23kgs (51lb).

"Customers travelling in all cabins except First and Club World will receive a yellow tag for handbag/laptop bags which are within the new dimensions. We guarantee that you can take this bag on board with you. Please have the tag visible for boarding and place the bag under the seat in front of you. We encourage you to carry any valuables and items such as medication in your handbag/laptop bag to ensure you have everything you need in the cabin."

The airline adds: "Customers who travel with hand baggage which is outside of their allowance will be asked to check this into the hold.

"On very busy flights we may have to ask some of our customers to check bags without yellow tags into the hold if the overhead lockers are full."

In June, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) drew 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.

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

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