Travellers warned to check cabin baggage size after study finds airline guidance leaves 'very little room for error'
TRAVELLERS have been warned to check their cabin baggage size after a study found that airline guidance left "very little room for error".
Trading Standards officers carried out an audit of baggage sizers at Northern Ireland airports after claims some were smaller than airline official information.
The dimensions of 47 metal and non-metal baggage sizers used by airlines at each of the three airports in the north were tested in recent weeks.
Trading Standards said it found that "all of the baggage sizers tested by weights and measures inspectors were found to measure in excess of the maximum dimensions permitted by each airline for cabin baggage".
"However, it was noted that the majority of baggage sizers tested were found to measure only 0.5cm in excess, leaving very little room for error.
"Non-metal cardboard baggage sizers were found to be more generous to consumers, measuring 1.5cm - 2cm in excess of the stated length by width by depth dimensions."
It added that "baggage sizers currently being used by airlines in Northern Ireland are accurately described and do not breach consumer protection laws".
The Department for the Economy's Trading Standards Service said it was important that airline travellers check the size of their cabin baggage before heading to the airport.
Michelle Craig from Trading Standards said: "Given the variation and complexity of luggage allowances across different airlines, it is unsurprising that this causes confusion for consumers.
"Some airlines have stated that they now intend to enforce their baggage size policy more strictly than they have done in the past.
"Therefore, it is important to be aware that the suitcase you have used to travel with previously, without any issues, could now be checked and no longer accepted by the airline."