Airlines could cut hand luggage allowance

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AIR TRAVEL: It could be bad news for travellers as new guidelines released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommend that hand luggage allowances be decreased drastically.

New advice released by the IATA is encouraging airlines to cut hand luggage allowances for their passengers, which could result in more expensive flights, longer queues and lost luggage. The current guidelines suggest maximum measurements of 56cm x 45cm x 25 cm, but the new proposals would see it cut to 55cm x 35cm x 19cm - a capacity reduction of almost half (40 percent).

Hand luggage guidelines

Hand luggage guidelines
Wiki Commons

Problems for passengers

The reduced size of cabin bags would certainly make for more room in overhead lockers and speed up boarding times but would most certainly oblige more passengers to check their bags into the hold. It would also increase chances of lost luggage, as well as increasing both baggage drop and carousel queues.

30-40 airlines interested

So far, the IATA has stated that 30-40 airlines are interested in following the new guidelines. Though they will not be required to abide by the measurements, several airlines - including Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, China Southern and Emirates - have already announced their compliance.

British Airways, Virgin hold back

British Airways, Virgin hold back

Others, such as British Airways, Virgin and low-cost outfits Ryanair and easyJet, have not yet announced whether they plan to make any changes. In a statement, British Airways said: "We offer our customers a generous hand baggage allowance, which we know they value. We note the IATA proposal. We will continue to ensure that our baggage allowances reflect customer feedback and operational needs."

Ryanair, easyJet: not members of IATA

Ryanair, easyJet and most other budget airlines are not members of the IATA and therefore less likely to comply with the new measurements immediately. However, with a precedent set changes could be seen across the board as airlines seek to increase their revenue from checked baggage.


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Posted on 13/06/2015
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