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Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons/PracticalHacks
Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons/PracticalHacks

Here’s the latest annoyance in airline travel: A call for carry-ons to be officially smaller.

If you travel often for business — and love your handy-dandy carry-on that’s probably about, oh, the most common approved size of 22 inches tall by 14 inches wide by 9 inches deep — you may have to upgrade your equipment, according to this report by AFP. The largest global airline association, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is proposing new guidelines for carry-ons: the new bags will be about 21 inches tall, 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep.

According to AFP, “the rolling suitcase would be small enough to allow every passenger on a flight of 120 people or more to fit one bag in the overhead space near their seat,” stated IATA.

IATA’s Tom Windmuller, senior VP for airport, passenger, cargo and security, said that adopting standards across airlines would cut down on confusion of different airlines’ requirements for carry-on size (true), which he called a “nuisance.” And while airlines are “not required” to adopt the new rules, Windmuller says the response has been “favorable” so far.

Windmuller also said that IATA “consulted Boeing and Airbus to come up with the optimum size.”

Apparently, luggage makers are aware of the change and set to go into production with the slightly smaller bags that will be marked “IATA Cabin OK,” which should be available toward the end of the year.

And while this is logical, I find it annoying. Instead of once again putting the onus on the air traveler to replace their bag — a pricey and annoying option — perhaps airlines could find a better way to handle the hot mess that is always the carry-on situation. I, for one, am sick of watching Suzy Q. Public haphazardly cram her overstuffed Vera Bradley duffel, puffy coat, snack bag, what-have-you sloppily into the overhead, taking up way more room than she is entitled to. I highly doubt that making your bag smaller by an inch is going to fix this problem.

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