Airline Shrinks Carry-on Bag Size But Don’t Panic

Remember when we told you about a proposal by an international airline trade group to shrink the size of carry-ons? We made a point of saying this was a guideline only and not mandatory, and that has not changed.

Except at British Airways, where they are doing some shrinking.

British Airways Carry-on Bag Changes

First of all, you must understand that British Airways has a generous carry-on policy compared to many European airlines; it allows a hand bag/purse or laptop-type bag AND a regular small piece of luggage for the overhead bin. In contrast, Virgin Atlantic allows one bag and a purse is okay, too, but a laptop must fit inside the carry-on.

However starting this month, British Airways is shrinking the size of the smaller laptop bag by a couple of inches:

  • Previous size allowance: 45cm x 36cm x 20cm (18in x 14in x 8in)
  • New size: 40cm x 30cm x 15cm (16in x 12in x 6in).

The bigger bag remains unchanged at 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in) and can weigh up to 23kgs or 51 lbs. That’s actually very generous. While many U.S. airlines have no carry-on weight allowances listed, a few put limits on certain routes (Delta/Singapore limit: 15 pounds),  all U.S. carriers say bag owners must be able to lift them into overhead bins all by themselves. In other words, don’t ask the flight attendant for help!

OK, so – will other airlines start shrinking carry-on allowances, and if they do, will this make you angry/sad/indifferent? We’re all ears.

Cheer up. Let’s find a cheap flight right now.


Updated: August 3, 2015