Airlines shrinking carry-on size, what’s next?

Just when we thought flying on a plane could not get ANY worse. Yes, they are trying to put in more seats, so that you basically are required to sit upright the entire time, a bag of peanuts is going to cost $3, and drinks will BYOB (all my jokes). All joking aside there does not seem to be much more they can take from us while on a flight, and instead it tends to go the other direction that everything is costing passengers more money.

So, when I saw this Fast Company article, “Good for Luggage Manufacturers, Bad for Travelers: Carry-on Bag Size to Shrink by 21%” I about lost it. What else are they going to do? The interesting part is that it looks like the current carry-on size is 22 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. The new guidelines would mean 21.5 inches tall, 13.5 inches wide, and 7.5 inches deep. They are only shaving a half-inch off two sides and 1.5 inches off another, yet, every inch counts! I am not one to check my luggage. I have to be going far enough and long enough that I need to take enough to warrant a larger suitcase. Even then, I do all I can to see how I can make do with a smaller carry-on. Less hassle and the wonder of if I will see my bag again, and it means I travel light. Oh, and did I mention that it saves me money because I do not have to pay to check my luggage (knock on wood, as that too could change).

The article states that the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has put forth these guidelines and it is voluntary if airlines want to comply. Something tells me that Samsonite, Tumi, Victorinox, and others are in on this deal? It means more business for luggage companies if the guidelines go into effect than those flying the friendly skies are going to have to pay up (in more ways than one) to travel comfortably. What is next, seat sharing to save money? How about seat belt sharing?

What is confusing is that if some airlines comply with guidelines and others do not, it makes for an interesting trip. These are guidelines that should be standard across all airplanes of similar types. So that when you get to China, your bag will fit just the same in Brazil. This is not customer service, it is just another way to steal from customers. Can we stop, and go back to the days when traveling was supposed to feel like a luxury?

3 thoughts on “Airlines shrinking carry-on size, what’s next?

  1. you actually said – wanting to go back when traveling was a luxury. that means price hikes. as long as i remember (having paid for travel since the early 90’s), the cost of flying has remained relatively flat.

    it’s as if the Walmart effect has had its knock on effect way beyond daily goods. in a previous post, i talked about how prices for consumers have stayed below normal inflation. this due to many reasons but heavily leaning towards consumers wanting to pay less for goods that are not as good.

    As a result, when talking about trans-oceanic flight, i only fly with airlines that are government subsidized for tourism and I am glad to help them. Within the US, i still look first at “other country” airlines before daring to go via United, American or Delta. I have not flown Southwest or JetBlue. And living less than 10 miles away from New York City (Staten Island to be exact), i have access to four major airports: Newark, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Philly – and use that to get my preferred carrier. And lastly, my credit card is my preferred carrier’s vanity card which has really built up a nice pile of miles that are used for upgrades (subsidized airlines dont suddenly change their mileage value due for a short term accounting benefit).


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