Schumer: New carry-on guidance ‘prevents the use of roller bags’

Posted at 7:33 AM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 09:33:03-04

(CNN) — A proposal to reduce the size of carry-on bags on airlines has drawn criticism for effectively forcing travelers to check bags or buy new luggage.

Now, add to the list of potential drawbacks the demise of the international symbol of the business traveler: the roller bag.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer held a press conference Sunday to urge major air carriers to ground any plan to reduce the size of carry-on luggage. In addition to burdening middle-class families on vacations, Schumer said the proposal will also make most roller bags on the market too big.

“This new proposal will not only put a dent in family’s wallets but will also hurt business travelers because the proposed policy also prevents the use of roller bags,” Schumer said in a press conference outside a luggage and travel accessories store.

“Enough already! We pay extra for checked baggage, leg room, head phones, pillows and even peanuts. The airlines are making record profits and don’t need to add this further burden on the backs of travelers.”

The International Air Transport Association says the recommendation is intended to create more space for passengers to store luggage. The recommendation of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches would mean passengers on American or Delta Air Lines would need bags roughly 20% smaller. Southwest passengers would lose about 40% in bag space.

Schumer held up a roller bag of 22 x 14 x 8 inches during the press conference.

“Right now, this size bag qualifies as a carry-on. It’s the size you’ve seen millions of people rolling around at airports and train stations when you travel,” he said. “If the policy is adopted, this piece of luggage will no longer qualify as carry-on luggage.”

North American airlines have not accepted the IATA guidance yet, but Emirates, Lufthansa and seven other international carriers have.

The fact that airlines have already adopted it gives American airliners an excuse to follow suit, Schumer said.

“Many travelers have had their go-to bag for years. So, to force them to buy new luggage or instead to pay extra and have to wait to pick up their checked luggage is wrong,” he said.

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