Just a week after the International Air Transport Association came out with a recommendation that carriers worldwide adopt new, somewhat smaller size limits for carry-on bags, the group has suddenly announced it will reassess that proposal “in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America.”
The global airline trade organization’s retrenchment on the controversial plan came on the same day that its U.S. counterpart — Airlines for America (A4A) — said none of its members planned to adopt the new IATA standards, which called for maximum carry-on dimensions of 21.5 by 13.5 by 7.5 inches.
“A4A and its members reject the recent carry-on size initiative put forth by IATA because it is unnecessary and flies in the face of the actions the U.S. carriers are taking to invest in the customer experience — roughly $1.2 billion a month — including larger overhead bins,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas Calio. “Our members already have guidelines in place on what size bags they can accommodate, making this action unnecessary.”
Original story: Another carryon bag brouhaha brewing
Considering the potential consumer outrage if the plan had been widely adopted, we can’t say we’re surprised that cooler heads prevailed at U.S. carriers.
IATA said that there has been too much confusion about the proposal (which it calls Cabin OK) — particularly by media reports that made it sound like the standard would be mandatory and that travelers would have to rush out and buy new carry-on luggage to meet the smaller dimensions.
“Cabin OK is a guideline for an optimally sized cabin bag, not an industry standard,” IATA said. “Cabin OK does not seek to define a maximum size for carry-on bags, which is something each airline does individually. And no consumer will be forced into buying a new bag as a result of this voluntary initiative.” Nonetheless, IATA said it has “paused” the program until it can reassess the whole idea.
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