International Air Transport Association (IATA) is proposing smaller carry-on luggage. (Photo courtesy of Gina Vercesi, Unplugged TravelingMom.)

If you think the current airplane carry on bag size is small now, wait until the airlines pass a new size requirement that reduces it by 40 percent.

If the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gets its way, the optimum carry-on bag would be 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches (or 55 x 35 x 20 cm). Currently, most airlines allow bags up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Chances are the IATA will prevail. After all, it represents about 250 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic.

“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,” states Tom Windmuller, IATA’s senior vice president for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, in a press release. “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.”


Will Reducing Carry On Bag Size Help?

I’m a whiz at packing lightly but this will be a challenge for me, especially if I’m traveling with children. Margaret Trempe, who travels weekly for work,says this proposed change doesn’t make sense to her nor does she feel it will lead to an improved passenger experience.

“As a frequent business traveler, I am an expert ‘carry-on bag packer’ for short trips including business and casual outfits, shoes and toiletries,” says Trempe. “With the 40 percent reduction in size, my packing options are also cut by 40 percent thereby increasing the likelihood of needing to check a bag which will only add more airport wait time to my day.

“I feel as if the proposed change in carry-on luggage size is going to be detrimental for all travelers with the potential for airlines to earn more money with checked baggage fees,” Trempe adds.

What do you think of a reduced carry on bag size? Tell us in the comment section below.