IATA Wants To Outlaw My Carry-on (More Ancillary Fee$ For The Airlines)


IATA (International Airport Transport Association – the trade body for most airlines) has been holding its 71st annual general meeting in Miami this week and quite a few news have come out of it.

IATA Carry-on Size Change

Now, IATA wants to boost the ancillary revenues of its member airlines by shrinking the size of the allowed carry-on cabin baggage by few inches.

You can access IATA’s page for this initiative here.

The IATA wants to shrink the size of the current allowed (by most airlines) from 22in x 18in x 10in (56 cm x 45cm x 25cm) to 21.5in x 13.5in x 7.5in (55cm x 35cm x 20cm).

Here’s the press release by IATA:

Miami – The International Air Transport Association (IATA), announced a new initiative to optimize the accommodation of carry-on bags given differing carry-on bag sizes and airline policies.

Working with airline members of IATA and aircraft manufacturers, an optimum size guideline for carry-on bags has been agreed that will make the best use of cabin storage space. A size of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches) means that theoretically everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger.

An “IATA Cabin OK” logo to signify to airline staff that a bag meets the agreed size guidelines has been developed. A number of major international airlines have signaled their interest to join the initiative and will soon be introducing the guidelines into their operations.

“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,” said Tom Windmuller, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.

IATA is working with baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to manage the approval process of bag manufacturers. Each bag meeting the dimensions of the specifications will carry a special joint label featuring IATA and Okoban as well as a unique identification code that signals to airline staff that the bag complies with the optimum size guidelines.

Several major baggage manufacturers have developed products in line with the optimum size guidelines, and it is expected bags carrying the identifying label will start to reach retail shops later this year. Recognition of the IATA Cabin OK logo is expected to grow with time as more airlines opt-in to this IATA initiative.


The IATA is a trade body and advocates on behalf of the airlines. More airlines are introducing fares that do not come with checked bag allowance at all. How convenient it is that IATA now wants to shrink the size of the allowed carry-on?

Most of the time I would be allowed to check in anywhere from 2 to 4 bags depending of the ticketed cabin and the status level I have with the airline/alliance. I basically have all what I need on my black 22 as I prefer not checking in a bag unless no other choice (liquids etc).

You can put lipstick on a pig, but difficult to see any other reason for this change than airlines trying to boost their ancillary revenue. Governments should do what Brazil has done and regulate the allowed free checked bag allowance.

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