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People love to say less is more. I’d just like to say it’s a good time to buy a luggage company. Life is a game of inches and the IATA, the airline’s “governing body”, seems to be playing their hand masterfully further reducing the size guidelines for carry on luggage. More revenue for airlines, more travel expenses for us. In the never ending jet set pursuit of “trendy” 22x14x9 inches became the new 24 and now, 21.5×13.5×7.5 inches is the new 22x14x9. Your bags are being squeezed and if one of those smiling gate agents wants to be a stickler, you are going to need new luggage.

This is essentially a reactionary double down. Carry on bags are a hassle for airlines because 99% of planes aren’t equipped for everyone to strut their guitar, hard shell carry on, bag pipes and tennis racquets on board. At the same time that carry on bags create hassle and expense for airlines, their employees and their ground contracts, baggage fees have created billions in revenue. This guidance from the IATA, which has already begun adoption by airlines including Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar (with many more to follow) paves the way for further shrinking of carry on allowances and the inevitable need to pay for a checked bag. 

If there was an expert tip to be had, it would be to take advantage of airline co-branded cards, which offer free checked bags or an airline fee credit offered by cards such as the Amex Gold and Platinum. As a Platinum card holder I receive a $200 credit every year towards airline expenses including checked bags. If you happen to be in the market for a new carry on, make sure it’s 21.5×13.5×7.5. Though your platform shoes might not fit in, you SHOULD at least be allowed to bring it on board….

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