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Overhead Bins and Coats and Jackets

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Most passengers still choose their airline by price. They go to a price comparison website and pick the cheapest option. The problem with these cheap flights is that they separate most fees such as checking your bags. Each checked bag can add $35 to the ticket price each way.

What this has done is force many travelers on a tight budget to bring their bags as a carry on. It used to be just business people (who didn’t want to waste time at baggage claim) who brought roller board suitcases on a plane. But now everyone is bringing their suitcase.

The airlines have been trying to adapt to this new influx of so many carry on bags. Some airlines like Delta have redesigned their overhead bins to accommodate bags placed on their side like a book. This can double the amount of suitcases that can be brought on board.

The reality is many flights still run out of space. This forces people boarding last (usually the cheapest tickets) to check their bags. This bag check is usually done for free. Some airlines anticipate running out of space and will offer free bag checking at the boarding gate. But what if you don’t want to check your suitcase?

There are some things we can do to help out our fellow travelers. Try to place your suitcases with either the wheels or top handle facing the aisle. This will increase the number of roller boards in each bin. Use the space under the seat in front of you for your second smaller bag; backpack, purse, briefcase, anything that will fit there. Also keep coats and jackets out of the overhead bins until after it is full of bags and then try to put them on top.

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Jay Muller

Author of The Flight Advisor