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The group that represents airlines says it is pausing the rollout of its “Cabin OK” initiative for carry-on baggage in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America.
The Geneva-based International Air Transport Association launched the initiative last week.
The plan offered passengers with a voluntary option to use a “Cabin OK” labelled bag (of 55 x 35 x 20 centimetres or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches) that would be immediately recognizable as complying with the vast majority of airline maximum-size requirements for cabin baggage.
Under the initiative, such bags would also be given a priority to remain in the cabin on full flights when cabin storage capacity is exceeded.
But the plan quickly backfired with several North American airlines openly opposing the idea.
“We need to get it right,” acknowledged Tom Windmuller, senior vice-president, airport, passenger, cargo and security for IATA.
“Today we are pausing the rollout and launching a comprehensive reassessment of the Cabin OK program with plans to further engage program participants, the rest of our members, and other key stakeholders,” he said in a release on Wednesday.
The group reiterated that “Cabin OK” is just a guideline for an optimally sized cabin bag, not an industry standard.
It also noted that “Cabin OK” does not seek to define a maximum size for carry-on bags, which is something each airline does individually.
“And no consumer will be forced into buying a new bag as a result of this voluntary initiative.”
IATA represents more than 260 airlines.
Image is courtesy of IATA.