Saturday, 27 June 2020 05:09

Italy is banning carry-on bags. Will other countries follow?

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Italy has a new idea for air travel: No carry-on luggage. And that could be bad news for airlines.

Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported Thursday the National Civil Aviation Authority will ban the use of overhead bins citing the need to contain Covid. All luggage will have to go into the “hold.”

The rule goes into effect Friday and applies to national and international flights. Fliers can still put a personal item under the seat.

If the move gains global momentum, it could threaten the airline stock recovery. Checking bags is annoying. It adds time and anxiety for travelers who don’t need another reason to forego flying. And it remains to be seen whether airlines can continue charging for checked bags, which has been a source of revenue for airlines, or if they end up taking a hit to sales. It’s not so farfetched: The CEOs of major U.S. carriers are set to meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Covid-19 measures.

U.S. airline shares are down about 10% over the past week, as the number of daily infections reported in the U.S. rises. Still, shares are up about 33%, on average, from March lows.

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