Last updated: 10:33 AM ET, Mon June 15 2015

Sen. Schumer Weighs in on IATA Carry-On Proposal

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | June 15, 2015

Sen. Schumer Weighs in on IATA Carry-On Proposal

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is taking on the airlines again, this time over the proposed new guidelines that would reduce the size of carry-on luggage.

Schumer held a press conference Sunday to denounce the plan by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to shrink the size of carry-on luggage, ostensibly to create a uniform policy that would allow all carry-ons to fit in planes with more than 120 seats and enable speedier boarding with its new IATA-approved “Cabin OK” sticker.

Eight international airlines have already said they will adopt the new standard size suggested by IATA, which is 21 percent smaller than current carry-on maximum. The new carry-on size is 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches, compared to the current 22 x 14 x 9.

“It’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s not much of a difference,” Schumer said. “It’s just a way for airlines to make extra money.”

Noting that airlines already charge a plethora of ancillary fees that rake in billions of dollars collectively, Schumer said, "We want to blow the whistle on this before it happens. Enough already!”

Schumer said he would personally call the CEOs of the major domestic airlines if he had to.

So far, eight international airlines are already onboard with the new size restrictions: Air China, Avianca, Azul, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar.

TravelPulse founder Mark Murphy appeared on CBS This Morning last week to discuss how this will impact the everyday traveler, who already face enormous baggage fees on checked bags.

American, Delta and United all follow the current 22 x 14 x 9 carry-on limit, and American is already on record as saying it currently has no plans to reduce the restrictions on carry-on size. Southwest allows carry-ons that are 24 x 16 x 10.

"The Cabin OK guideline is not a maximum size limit," IATA said. "The maximum size of cabin baggage is set individually by each airline. This is not affected by the Cabin OK initiative."

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