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American Seeks New Carry-On Rules

November 13, 1997

DALLAS (AP) _ American Airlines on Wednesday asked the Federal Aviation Administration to issue rules on a two-bag carry-on baggage limit for U.S. airlines.

The request, made to FAA Administrator Jane Carvey, said that carry-on baggage policies need to be uniform for all carriers and taken out of the realm of competition.

The FAA had no immediate comment on the request, which American made in a joint letter with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Allied Pilots Association.

Most carriers limit passengers to two carry-on bags, but with flyers carrying more roll-on luggage and laptops, overhead bins are filling up more quickly in the past, the airlines say.

That means the last passengers to board a flight often are stymied in their search for a bin, which in turn can slow take-off times for the airplanes.

In a test to combat the problem, United Airline passengers who pay the lowest fares and fly out of Des Moines will be restricted to only one carry-on bag, effective Dec. 1.

United said it eventually hopes to initiate the policy system-wide. The airline’s goal is to free up space for business travelers, who usually pay more for their tickets and sometimes complain that they can’t find room for their carry-on bags when flights are full.

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