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jun 19 2009

Should the TSA regulate carry-on bag size?

Congressman Dan Lipinski (Democrat of Illinois) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives yesterday to "standardize and clarify the dimensions of carry-on baggage."

Right now, each airline sets its own rules on carry-on bag size and weight, and the airlines do their own enforcing of the rules. The congressman wants to create a one-size-fits-all law, and have the TSA enforce it.

The proposal is to allows all bags to be as much as 22 inches by 18 inches by 10 inches in external dimensions.

Travel writers are splitting into two camps about the plan.

David Rowell at The Travel Insider likes the idea. He writes in his e-mail newsletter this week:

"Anyone who has watched boarding passengers flagrantly disregard airline 'rules' about the number and size of carry-on pieces, only to then board themselves and find no remaining overhead space for their own modest sized single piece, will support this legislation."

On the other hand, Brett Snyder at The Cranky Flier doesn't like the proposed law. Southwest, he points out, currently allows 24 by 16 by 10 in dimensions, and AirTran allows even larger pieces, and JetBlue (on its larger A320 planes) is the "most generous" by allowing 26 by 18 by 12 maximum inches. So the new regulation would force these airlines to shrink the carry-on sizes they allow. If you're used to having a bit more room for your carry-on bags when flying those planes, you'll be annoyed, he points out.

What say you?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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