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Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

New Luggage Size Regulations on the Horizon?

A recommendation by the International Air Transport Association might be the death knell for the worldwide symbol of business travel: the roller bag.

The International Air Transport Association has put out a recommendation that cabin bags be 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches to create more space for passengers to store luggage. This would mean passengers on American or Delta Air Lines would need bags roughly 20% smaller. Southwest passengers would lose about 40% in bag space.

At a time when airlines are making record profits, due to cheap gas and more efficient use of planes, it is no surprise that this proposal – which would essentially force passengers to pay to check their current luggage or buy new luggage – is drawing a lot of criticism.

Although no North American airlines have yet adopted the policy, many overseas airlines have and this precedent makes it easier for the other airlines to follow suit. However, on the whole, North American airlines make significantly higher profits per passenger than overseas companies—some of whom make as little as one dollar per passenger.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer has become a voice for the average traveler by holding a press conference this past Sunday urging airlines not to adopt this new policy as it will add additional cost to middle-class families trying to take vacations and cause many business travelers to have to purchase new luggage. He too noted that airlines are making record profits while already charging for many little extras like checking baggage, leg room, head phones, pillows and snacks.