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Airline wars: The battle for overhead bins

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Well, I've heard this myth about overstuffed overhead bins, but in all my flying days, I've never had a problem. It this a US problem?

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It is definitely a US problem. With the outrageous fees for checking even one bag, everyone is taking everything on the plane with them. It is really a problem on the smaller regional jets. The overhead bins are full before even half the passengers board the plane. From my experience, this is one real cause of flights being delayed backing away from the gate.

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Well, I've heard this myth about overstuffed overhead bins, but in all my flying days, I've never had a problem. It this a US problem?

Same with me, never had a problem; but --despite flying all over the world-- I've never been to the US.

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I fly Continental back and forth to Asia and never have a problem with full overhead bins. I am also aware of the tricks mentioned above. But there's a potential problem ahead: CO will fully merge with UAL this year and I fear things will change for the worse.

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It depends on a plane. Some have more space than others. My recent virgin Atlantic A340-600 flight to London had surprisingly small bins, even in upper class...

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@ilcub76: Most of the flights on regional jets don't allow for more than a coat or a small computer bag to be brought onboard. They usually require passengers to check their carry-ons upon boarding and they give them back when deplaning. There's no fee for those bags.

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good to have premier status previleges. Never have to worry about baggage fees, and you get in first to always have room in overhead bins.

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I'm sometimes surprised at how much 'hand luggage' some passengers manage to get through security check. I've seen people in economy class with one suitcase and loads of other bags.

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No problem with Lufthansa flights, as they allow only 8kg per person! And with their official policy being "show authority to assure a smooth boarding procedure", it is strictly implemented. Good old German values of correctness!

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The only time I had this problem was on flights from Thailand to Europe, when some tourists took outragous amounts of silly souvenirs on board. Sad to hear that this a normal problem in the US.

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O.K...I'm gunna' jump in here, cuz this is something I am COMPLETELY FED up with, on ANY flight I am on....BEWARE if YOU do this:

I am SICK and TIRED (long ago) of people stuffing THEIR bags in the compartment over MY seat, and they are THREE ROWS UP in the plane...while MY row is STILL EMPTY. I WILL SHOVE your stuff over/out of the way in a VIOLENT MANNER, if MY reasonable sized carry on (never more then a backpack) will not fit in MY overhead compartment. You better HOPE you don't have anything BREAKABLE in your bags, cuz if you DO, I WILL FIND IT... "Happy Landings".

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The flights from Hawaii to Japan are the worst. People have bought so much stuff, but they are limited to 20kg for one checked bag, so they haul the rest of their stuff onto the plane. I agree with WA4TKG, I hate it when they take over the bin overhead, even when they are sitting rows away. Just because they have so much carry on they have already filled their own.

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hachmike66: You made me think of those Japanese tourists in Honolulu lugging huge amounts of chocolate covered macadamia nuts home for souvenirs. Just where do they stow them on the plane?

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I was on a U.S. airline flight recently ( of course economy class ) and it was all I could do to smother my chuckling as the male cabin attendant, struggling but failing to close an overstuffed overhead bin, scolded everyone within earshot, saying, "If everyone had listened to my pre-boarding instructions..." When I boarded the plane I just put my one small carry-on bag under the seat in front of me like everyone else should have done but didn't.

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Nobody should be travelling with more than a small grip or backpack as hand luggage. You have a luggage allowance, use it. I am sick and tired of people with big bags of souvenirs or suitcases on wheels, trying to get down the aisle and impeding my progress and personal space. I'm with 'sarge' on this. all you need is one small bag. The ONLY exception are mothers with babies as far as I'm concerned.

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Never had any problems, using Lufthansa most of the time. They never weight my hand luggage (and I'm sure I am always over their 8 kg limit, perhaps close to the 15-17 kg zone, but I'm always sure to have maximum two pieces of hand luggage). In the worst case I can place my computer bag under the seat in front and rest my legs on it(thank you Panasonic Toughbook :)) )

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@ebisen: 15-17KG of Hand luggage? Why? What do you possibly need on a 12 hour flight that entails carrying that much hand luggage. Apart from it taking up space that other passengers could use?

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Of course there are many people with ridiculous amounts of carry-on baggage. There are times however, when I have had to carry more than usual and I am glad that exceptions are made. I would hate to lose this, one of the very last freedoms we have left. Amen.

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I absolutely disagree with you. It's time the airlines clamped down and restricted everybody (apart from mothers with babies), to ONE bag of no more than a certain size/weight in economy class. It's rude, disrespectful and UNCOMFORTABLE to your fellow passengers. Airlines should start charging 1% of the first class fare for every kilo over the allowance - that will soon put a stop to it. If you don't like it buy a business class ticket.

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rainman1 - you and me both. I'm fed up with these greedy people who bring cases into the cabin that take up way too much luggage space, leaving no room for anyone else and also shoving your luggage out of the way to make time. Understand why this happens on those tightwad airlines that charge for check in luggage - but why do this on an airline with free checked baggage limits unless you're a selfish S.O.B.?

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rainman, it creates no disconfort if I place a second bag under the seat in front of me, except for myself...Sometimes I need to have a piece of hand luggage, and no, I can't check-in the at least 40.000 EUR worth of equipment I sometimes might have with me either, so that also has to come into the cabin...

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@ebisen: It may not create discomfort for me, but it will be a big issue for you if I climb over you whilst you are asleep I accidentally tread on your bag and break a valuable item. Yes you can check 40,000 Euros worth of equipment in - just insure it like most people too. What you can POSSIBLY need in an airplane cabin? Lets think about it. Wallet/Passport/Toothbrush and small wash items/Contact Lens Case/Laptop/Book. The blatant overcarrying of items simply has to stop - its passengers like you who make travelling economy even more crampled than it needs to be.

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You climb over people while they are asleep? That seems ungodly rude...

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Would you rather I woke you up? Last time I checked that wasn't a 'sin' listed in the bible. 'Ungodly'??? Oh dear.

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It's the eleventh deadly sin in the new new testament.... And yes you should wake people up and not climb over them!!!

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Right Whatever. I have NEVER heard that before or seen anybody do it. I am sitting in an office with 40 people here and have just asked them the same question. I got laughed at when I suggested that you would wake someone up on a long haul flight to make your way to the toilet.

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You asked 40 people that question? The lengths people will go to win an argument in their head...

All humor aside you must be the size of an eight year old girl if you can climb over anyone in economy class...

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Actually, I wouldn't know in all fairness. I haven't stepped foot in an economy cabin since 1996. Just reminiscing about the old days. I guess things have changed.

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Really first class only? Why all the complaints then? First class is tiny and boards before everyone else. How can people with big bags be blocking the aisle, impeding your progress, getting in your personal space?? Hmm...

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I am just trying to make the point how inconvenient it is as I do remember what it is like and I have several colleagues who fly in economy several times a month and this is one of the most common complaints they have. It's not a joke and I am not trying to be difficult. Flying in economy is NOT fun, it's only become more cramped over the years and people with oversized luggage DO get in the way, thats a fact and I fail to see how you can argue the point. I'm finished on this topic.

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Good, because I am not. Each airline has different rules on baggage allowance which change again with a mileage card. Some passengers have way too much carry-on baggage, much of it purchased in the duty-free at the airport. You are encouraged to buy, buy and buy!

A lot of these wheely things are just too bulky and test everyone's patience, expecially when the passenger turns up late onto the plane with nowhere to stuff it. I agree with your dislike of people taking the space above me, or moving/squashing my overhead luggage.

But your question about what possible use it could have on the plane is off the mark. Much of what I carry won't go in the suitcase. I fly back home two or three times a year and need to carry more stuff sometimes. If your suitcase weighs 6 or 7 kilos, then all you are actually allowed to put in it is 13 kgs? That's nuts.

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I'm with 'sarge' on this. all you need is one small bag. The ONLY exception are mothers with babies as far as I'm concerned.

Good to know.

I didn't know you were allowed to put babies in the overhead bins.

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Yes you can check 40,000 Euros worth of equipment in - just insure it like most people too.

No company I know of will give you an insurance for that amount for checked-in flight baggage. I often have the same problem like ebisen, not as much as 40,000 Euros, but enough to make me schlep up to 20kg with me onto the plane. Fortunately no airline has ever rejected me taking it on board when I told them what it is and what it's worth.

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