Wednesday 10 June 2015 1:18 pm

Carry-on luggage on airlines including Lufthansa and Emirates is about to get even smaller

It's one of life's certainties, on top of death and taxes: arrive 10 minutes late to the queue for your gate on a budget airline, and you'll inevitably be forced to stow your carry-on in the hold, thus adding roughly an hour to your journey.

Now the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has come up with a solution which no one's going to like: shrink the standard size of the carry-on. Yep, your packing just got a lot more difficult.

The IATA said the new size – 55 x 35 x 20cm – "means that theoretically, everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger". 

That's even smaller than Ryanair's 55 x 40 x 20cm restrictions – and significantly smaller than British Airways' and EasyJet's 56 x 45 x 25cm cutoff. Bags on sale that meet the size will be rewarded with an "IATA Cabin OK" sticker. Those who don't? Into the hold…

Although the IATA insisted the new size was just a "guideline", airlines including Air China, Lufthansa and Emirates have already subscribed to the new rules. 

"We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers," soothed Tom Windmuller, IATA's senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.

"This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience."

Hmm. At least luggage makers' share prices should go up…