Passengers wait to check in at Logan International Airport in Boston, December 21, 2009. Michael Dwyer / AP

IATA just announced a new size guideline that’s smaller than most U.S. airlines’.

And you thought flying couldn’t get any worse.

Thanks to a new recommendation from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travelers the world over may soon have to replace their carry-on bags with smaller ones. Yesterday IATA announced an “optimal” carry-on size guideline of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches—about 21 percent smaller than what major airlines such as Delta, American, and United currently allow, the Washington Post reports.

The program is “designed to make things easier for everybody,” said IATA senior vice president Tom Windmuller in a press release. Due in part to overstuffed roller bags, cabin storage often fills up before all passengers have a chance to board, forcing some to check their carry-on items. Applying the new size restriction should theoretically ensure that all carry-ons fit on any aircraft with at least 120 seats.

The rule isn’t binding, but IATA stated that 30 to 40 airlines, including Lufthansa and Qatar, have already expressed interest in implementing it. In the meantime, look out for a new crop of smaller, IATA-approved carry-on bags in retail stores later this year. They’ll have an “IATA Cabin OK” logo to let airline staff know that they’re ready to board.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  3. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  4. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  5. Mass Transit

    Could These Crazy Intersections Make Us Safer?

    Dispatches from the imagination of transportation engineers.