With all of the news in the past month about knee defenders and the right to recline, it made me wonder about another sensitive topic- the overhead bin.
I have to admit that Kim and I check our luggage probably on 98% of our flights. For longer trips, especially when you’re traveling with a toddler, fitting all of a family of three’s things into a couple of carry-on bags just isn’t going to happen.
For shorter trips I’d love to stick to carry-on roller bags but we usually just check one bag for the three of us. This allows for one of us to roll the bag and the other to push Lucas in his stroller.
We don’t pay bag checking fees since all but a couple of our domestic flights over the past few years have been with Southwest, an airline that doesn’t charge a fee for up to 2 checked pieces of luggage.
I always bring aboard a backpack for my laptop, camera, toys for Lucas and a few other items. I’ll usually toss it into the overhead bin along with Lucas’ things, stacking it all together trying to take up as little space as possible.
I always find it interesting when flight attendants make the announcement stating that you have to leave smaller bags by your feet and to please , save the overhead bin space for larger pieces of luggage.
This always makes me wonder why this is the case. If I choose to check my bag, why should I not be allowed a small bit of space for my backpack? I don’t think that I should have to lose precious space for my legs just so others can cram their larger pieces up top.
My thought is that one piece of luggage- bigger or smaller should be allowed in the overhead bin.
This leads me to our flight home from the Dominican Republic back in June with JetBlue.
The airline was very nice to allow my parents to board early along with us due to traveling with Lucas. We got settled in and set up the CARES Harness (review to come soon) for Lucas. I then stuck my backpack up top with Lucas’ small changing bag on top of my pack.
The flight was pretty full from what I recall and the flight attendants made an announcement again about keeping small bags under the seat in front of you etc…
Then one of the flight attendants started pulling out bags (mine included) and shoving them back in recklessly to try to fit another bag in.
I asked him not to shove my bag and he got very defensive. I was told “you pay for the seat, not the overhead bin space”.
The flight attendant disappeared and I figured that was the end of the situation.
About 5-7 minutes later I was approached by a member of the ground staff. He told me that he heard there wa a problem and told me that the flight attendants are the boss. It was kind of hard to understand him but Kim and I thought that he then apologized for the situation…
I then asked if everybody was allowed overhead bin space and was told yes. I asked another question- Why should I have to keep my bag by my feet while larger bags were allowed the space? The ground staff member said that he understood the issue but this was the rule.
This makes me kind of annoyed to think of the double standard when it comes to overhead bin space. Many airlines penalize you for checking a bag by charging a fee in the $25 (per bag) range. For those that bring large roll-a-board bags on, they get priority to the overhead bin!
On the other hand, I realize that there is only so much space. If everyone tries to use it, there clearly isn’t enough room. So who should get priority? Those that board earlier or those with big bags?
Can anyone explain the rational of this rule? Shouldn’t all passengers be allowed to benefit from the overhead bin?