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June 11, 2015

Airlines could soon shrink the size of carry-on bags

Travel Airlines
06112015_Luggage_AP Tatan Syuflana/AP

Sky Aviation's flight attendants show photographers the overhead luggage bin of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 during the unveiling ceremony of the first of the 12 jetliners purchased by the domestic airline.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has determined the optimum carry-on luggage size, and it is a few inches shy of what most airlines currently allow, The New York Times reports.

At its annual summit in Miami Tuesday, the IATA agreed that 21.5 inches tall, 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep is the best luggage size to create optimal cabin storage space for all passengers.

According to the IATA, the change to a smaller carry-on luggage size will "theoretically" allow every passenger on a plane with 120 seats or more to use the overhead bins.

To assist airline staff with spotting compliant bags, the association has been working with Okoban, a luggage security and tracking company, to create a new logo for manufacturers to attach to bags that meet the new standard. Several companies, including Samsonite, Tumi and Delsi, are working with the association to create compliant baggage, expected to be introduced later this year.

“It’s a program designed to make things easier for everybody, first and foremost, the passenger,” Tom Windmuller, IATA's senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, said in the video. “Passengers will know, if he or she buys this bag, they’ll be able to take it onboard a growing number of airlines. They don’t have to be concerned with the size or whether your airline this week or next week will accept it. For the airline, it means faster turnarounds because there will be fewer bags that need to be taken down the ramp and put in the hold.”

At this time, the new suggested size is just a guideline, and it is up to each airline and aircraft to enforce.

Read more from The New York Times.