The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has admitted its latest attempt to squeeze more money out of passengers is too much and is backtracking from its plans to force passengers to bring significantly smaller carry on luggage inside the cabin.
IATA , which represents 250 of the world’s airlines, last week rolled out a new initiative labeled Cabin OK which limited cabin luggage to 21.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.5 inches, or 55 cm by 35 cm by 20 cm.
The reasoning behind the smaller allowance was that it would ensure all passengers on a plane with more than 120 seats could bring along their carry-on – given that overhead bins are jammed today and often those boarding last have nowhere to put their carry on luggage.
However, and even though some airlines including Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and Emirates were on board with the proposals, IATA this week said the new policy would not be implemented.
“Our focus is on providing travellers with an option that would lead to a simplified and better experience,” said IATA’s senior vice-president Tom Windmuller, in a media release. “This is clearly an issue that is close to the heart of travellers. We need to get it right.”
IATA will now launch a “comprehensive reassessment” consulting with members program, other airlines and key stakeholders.
There was no mention by the IATA about the cause of jammed overhead luggage rack: Opportunistic fees for checking bags. Most carrier now charge $25 or more to check luggage, leading passengers to forego checking bags to save the significant extra cost.
The measures were intended to offset higher fuel prices, just like so-called ‘fuel surcharges’, but now that fuel prices have normalized the air carriers refuse to remove the fees. They also continue to charge ‘fuel surcharges’ in an effort to squeeze more profit from travelers.