The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued comments clarifying key elements of its “Cabin OK” initiative which have been misunderstood in some reporting.
The IATA Cabin OK initiative for carry-on bags aims to provide passengers with a greater assurance that their carry-on bags will travel with them in the aircraft cabin, even when the flight is full.
The Cabin OK size guideline, developed by working with airlines and manufacturers, is 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5” inches). This size was calculated to make the best use of storage space in the cabin. If fully embraced by passengers, everyone would have a chance to travel with their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger even when the flight is full.
A number of major international airlines have signaled their interest to join the initiative. They will soon be introducing operational guidelines to give Cabin OK bags priority to stay on board the aircraft when all carry-on bags cannot be accommodated in the cabin.
The Cabin OK guideline is not a maximum size limit. The maximum size of cabin baggage is set individually by each airline. This is not affected by the Cabin OK initiative.
The Cabin OK guideline is smaller than the size set by most airlines as their maximum acceptable for carry-on baggage. Thus, passengers with Cabin OK carry-on baggage can travel with a greater assurance that it will be acceptable across the different airline requirements. And, when travelling on a participating airline there is a further benefit: those bags with a Cabin OK logo will have a priority (determined individually by each airline) for staying in the cabin should its cabin capacity be exceeded and some baggage need to be moved to the hold.
Cabin OK is a guideline, not a standard. Airlines have no plans to restrict carry-on baggage to the Cabin OKdimensions of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5” inches). Most airlines have maximum size limits that are larger than this and that is not impacted by the Cabin OK initiative. Passengers will be able to continue to use carry-on baggage that is larger than the Cabin OK size provided it is within airline maximum size limits.