Airline association to reduce the size of your carry-on bag

International trade organisation announces new scheme for smaller, more uniform, baggage allowances

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Just when you thought it was safe to book that last-minute city break, it turns out you may have to buy a new suitcase.

The largest airline association in the world has announced plans to reduce the maximum size of airlines' hand luggage.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced it has recommended reducing the maximum size of carry on luggage.

The IATA represents 260 major scheduled carriers, currently accounting for 83 per cent of air traffic.

So far eight major airlines, including Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar, have announced they will be implementing the new "best size" dimensions of of  55 x 35 x 20 cm. This is 21 per cent smaller than the average dimensions of major American airliners, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, according to the Washington Post.

Airliners have been working with IATA to design baggage that can be labelled “Cabin OK”. This means all cabin baggage will fit into a cabin on a plane with 120 passengers.

Current inconsistent requirements mean up to 20 bags have to go into the hold because they cannot fit them into the overhead compartments.

 Tom Windmuller, IATA’s senior vice president for cargo said: “The development of an agreed optimal cabin bag size will bring common sense and order to the problem of differing sizes for carry-on bags. We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience.”

But anyone hoping for a low cost, short haul get away in Europe this summer need not hang up their bucket and space in despair just yet as Ryanair and EasyJet are not members of IATA. A Ryanair spokesman has confirmed they were not going to implement the changes.