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Stricter cabin luggage rules – IATA recommends reduction of carry-on luggage max. size to 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches

As per summer 2015, there are no new general regulations regarding the size of luggage allowed in the cabin.

Each airline determines the cabin luggage allowance and the differences in the policies are sometimes considerable. This situation may, however, change in the near future as IATA, the International Air Transport Association for over 260 airlines worldwide has announced the guidelines for carry-on luggage allowance.  The majority of IATA airlines is expected to inforce the new regulations from as early as 2016 or 2017.

IATA recommends the max. size of the cabin luggage to be 21.5in x 13.5in x 7.5in. This is a considerable reduction compared to the current cabin baggage policies in many airlines, including the low-cost carriers. Ryanair, for example, allows per summer 2015, carry-on suitcase with max. size of 21.6in x 15.7in x7.8in. The difference between IATA’s proposed goals and current cabin luggage requirements is even larger in case of British Airways, which allows on boar suitcases 22 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

Read also: Hand luggage size and weight – an overview of cabin luggage allowance in different airlines.

55 x 35 x 20 cm new size of cabin luggage?
It is not clear yet what the allowed size of cabin luggage in centimetres will be (given the decimal values in inches to centimetre conversion). The 55 cm tall, 35 cm wide and 20 cm deep seems to be the most likely standardized size.

Several large airlines – amongst them Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, China Southern, China Eastern, Cathay Pacific, Caribbean Airlines, Avianca and Azul -have already announced they will comply with IATA’s recommendations.

In order to make easier the purchase of cabin luggage which meets the proposed requirements, IATA has developed a sticker ‘IATA Cabin OK’ to be placed by the manufacturers on their products. It is therefore to be expected that IATA’s proposal will actually follow through, being gradually introduced by major airlines. 


Stricter cabin luggage rules – IATA recommends reduction of carry-on luggage max. size to 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches
Article: Stricter cabin luggage rules – IATA recommends reduction of carry-on luggage max. size to 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches
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Published: Friday, June 12 2015
Latest revision: Monday, June 29 2015

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