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Airlines to shrink carry-on luggage size by more than 20 percent

By Amy R. Connolly
Tom Windmuller, International Air Transport Association senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, displays the new smaller carry-on size at a meeting Tuesday in Miami Beach. Photo courtesy IATA/Flickr
Tom Windmuller, International Air Transport Association senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, displays the new smaller carry-on size at a meeting Tuesday in Miami Beach. Photo courtesy IATA/Flickr

MIAMI, June 10 (UPI) -- The International Air Transport Association, the major airlines' trade group, is recommending shrinking the size of allowed carry-on bags.

The IATA, working with airlines and aircraft manufacturers, unveiled a new best-size guideline Tuesday for carry-on bags that is 21 percent smaller than the size currently permitted by many major U.S. carriers, including Delta, American and United. At 21.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep, the new size will "make this easier for everybody, first and foremost the passenger."

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"The passenger will know that if he or she buys this bag they'll be able to take it on board a growing number of airlines," said Tom Windmuller, IATA's senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security. "They don't need to be concerned about the size of the bag and whether your airline next week or next month will accept it."

Eight major international carriers have adopted the guidelines, including Air China, Avianca, Azul, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar.

"We'll certainly be announcing more big carriers," said Chris Goater, a spokesman for the transport association.

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The guidelines are designed to allow every passenger to have room for a carry-on bag in a plane of at least 120 seats. Some luggage manufacturers will begin producing bags with the label "Cabin OK" to indicate it meets the new standards.

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