US airlines reject smaller carry-on initiative

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The industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines said Wednesday no U.S. airlines support the smaller carry-on bag initiative proposed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). (Tweet this)

Airlines for America (A4A) opposes the initiative, known as Cabin OK, that launched on June 9. It recommends new guidelines that would shrink the size of bags allowed on planes, part of an effort to free up space in packed overhead bins.

"A4A and its members reject the recent carry-on size initiative put forth by IATA because it is unnecessary and flies in the face of the actions the U.S. carriers are taking to invest in the customer experience -- roughly $1.2 billion a month -- including larger overhead bins," said Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio in a press release.

"Our members already have guidelines in place on what size bags they can accommodate, making this action unnecessary. We agree with IATA's action to reassess this initiative and take into account stakeholders' views and recognize work already underway to improve baggage facilitation."

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On the same day, IATA put out its own press release, announcing it would "reassess" the Cabin OK initiative "in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America. This will include further engagement with program participants, the IATA membership, and key stakeholders."

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The luggage proposal is not required for the industry. It would be a voluntary agreement between the association and carriers who choose to participate.

Airlines for America advocates on behalf of the American airline industry. Its member carriers and their affiliates transport about 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic, according to its website.

—AP contributed to this report.