Are you Getting a New Carry-On?

It was recently announced that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has come up with the ideal dimensions when it comes to the size of your carry-on luggage. This size was set so that if everyone on a fight with 120 or more seats had a bag of this size, they could fit it in the overhead compartments.   But, will this ultimately help when it comes to what the passengers are bringing on board?

Let us compare:

IATA: 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches (55 x 35 x 20 centimeters)
Air Canada: 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches
WestJet:21 x 15 x 9 inches

(Sizes provided courtesy of this article: CTV article on Carry-On Sizing)

At this point, both Air Canada and WestJet have said that they have no plans to change their dimensions. But realistically, why do they need to bother? If someone has a bag that fits the IATA guidelines, it will make the other guidelines. But, someone who starts out on one of the two airlines and then transfers to another airline which is following the IATA standards, they will potentially have to check their luggage due to a few inches.

Is this fair for travellers? For those who only fly domestically within Canada, it isn’t likely to be much of an issue. But the moment you fly international, or even on a different airline within the country, that bag no longer qualifies as a carry-on.

Personally, I don’t bother with the overhead bins anymore. I got tired of having to fight for space and prefer to put my bag under the seat in front of me. This allows me to easily access my bag while in flight. As I prefer a window seat, I don’t want to have to bother the people in the seat next to me to get my book or have a snack.

Right now, you cannot buy a bag that has been marked as “IATA Cabin OK” but they are hoping by the end of this year. So far now, you are responsible for remembering and checking the dimensions on any new bag to see if they conform.   Only new bags will get the new labels once they start manufacturing.

Will you purchase a new carry on that is acceptable in this size? Do you prefer to check your luggage and pay a fee if there is one?

Note:  This has been put on hold as of June 17, 2015 but it is something to keep in mind if you are looking to purchase new luggage.

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