It really is undesirable enough that some airlines are tacking on seasonal bag charge hikes (Spirit in the U.S. and Europe’s Ryanair, to name two). Now, there are reports that we may well soon have to ditch our favorite carry-on bag.
The problem? Most of these small bags are supposedly also large. My response to this Huge Bag Theory? Baloney. Meantime, hang onto your old carry-on.
The theory is the brainchild of the International Air Transport Association, a trade organization of 260 airlines about the world IATA’s executive offices are in Geneva. What the organization wants is for all airlines to stick to IATA’s new recommendations on maximum sizes for carry-on bags, as follows: 21.5 (height) x 13.five (width) x 7.5 depth in inches (or 55 x 35 x 20 cm).
Does this imply you need to run out and get a brand new bag? No. Despite initial fears about this, IATA has considering the fact that clarified some details about its recommendation, which includes the fact that it is not binding. When a spokesman claimed a handful of airlines are on board with the new size, no airline we’re aware of will force passengers to downsize carry-ons (as long as they meet the airline’s requirements). And even even though IATA says it expects “key airlines” to join in, nicely, this is where my baloney comment comes in.
If this was anything directed at leisure travelers only — the when-a-year holiday crowd — I may possibly say there was a possibility. But guess who makes use of carry-on bags? Company travelers. And here’s a dirty tiny secret: Airlines will accept only a particular quantity of grumbling from economy passengers, but you better think they will not anger the biz people.
Road warriors are the life-blood of most airlines, and for very good purpose: Organization travelers pay greater ticket rates (or their bosses do), in some cases five or ten times as much as economy class. That is because they buy horrendously high-priced last-minute tickets and/or horrendously high priced business enterprise or initially-class seats. What’s critical here is the bottom line, and no airline will risk upsetting these profitable fliers and risk losing them.
Nonetheless, IATA’s Tom Windmuller says smaller bags would “make issues easier for everybody” due to the fact there’d be much more area for everyone’s bags in overhead bins. However, there is currently a trend toward roomier bins. We’ve noticed the broadly-touted larger bins in the most up-to-date Airbus and Boeing aircraft, not to mention Boeing’s new Space Bins for 737s that the aircraft manufacturer says holds 50 percent additional bags.
A single final thing: The all round intent of the Big Bag Theory is good. We should really pack lighter. For 1 factor, we’ll save on checked-baggage charges and, at $25 each way, they add up (in particular for a household of four). The excellent news is, if you currently have a carry-on, no have to have to rush out and get a replacement — but next time you fly, look at really pulling it out of the closet and using it.
Any opinions expressed in this column are solely these of the author.