Passengers flying out of Britain’s busiest airport are to be stopped from taking oversized hand luggage on flights.
Airport operator BAA has announced it will begin to limit the size of carry-on luggage from this July, starting with Heathrow.
The move follows demands by the Department for Transport that airlines crack down on bag size because a trend towards bigger hand luggage has increased the time needed for security checks, causing long queues.
Bags will have to be no more than 56cm (22in) long, 45cm (18in) wide and 25cm (10in) deep to be allowed as hand luggage.
The new rules, which are to be implemented throughout Heathrow by 1 August, will mean that passengers will be asked to check in as hold luggage all bags that don’t fit in the gauges provided at check-in.
BAA spokeswoman Liz Neighbour said: ‘Passengers are now packing larger, thicker hand baggage filled with more electronic devices then ever before. This trend demands extra security attention leading to longer queues. It’s time for the journey of the over-stuffed “wheelie bag” to end at check-in.’
Signs and baggage gauges will be placed throughout all Heathrow terminals advising passengers of the new regulation on size.
Last week British Airways revealed it would be allowing economy passengers just one check-in bag each on most routes.
In a shake-up of its luggage rules coming into force in October, the airline will also remove weight limits on hand luggage, which matches rival Easyjet’s policy. BA says it will require only that you can lift your bag unaided into the overhead locker.
From October charges for excess baggage will also change. Economy passengers will be charged flat rates for exceeding the weight limits. Charges will be GBP 30 for domestic flights, GBP 60 for short-haul and GBP 120 for long-haul. And there will be a 20 per cent discount for pre-paying excess charges online.