Christmas is now over and we’re getting ready to start a new year … which usually means new habits for many, including yours truly. I, for one, need to eat better and exercise more. Every year, I also try to become a better traveler as rules, technology, aircrafts and more are constantly changing, so it takes time to stay on top of everything, otherwise you’ll find yourself making mistakes. RELATED: 12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today
One of those simple mistakes I made recently, and that I see many frequent fliers also make, is when it comes to loading bags in the overhead bag. But first: it drives me nuts when passengers take their sweet time during boarding and blocking the aisle while trying to get their go-to items in order.
Is it that difficult to get out of the aisle while searching? Or better yet, have a smaller pouch like one of these inside your carry-on with the stuff you’ll need (i.e. pen, glasses, book, iPad, wipes, tissues …) so that when you get to your row, you can just pull out the bag, plop it on your seat and stow your bag in the overhead bin quickly? Sadly, there are always a handful of slowpokes … and I’m not referring to senior citizens who are entitled to take as much time as they need.
Anyhow, back to the point at hand: Thanks to innovation, some airlines and aircrafts have new oversized bins that can hold more bags. Fitting more bags is advantageous for everyone since fewer people have to gate check their bags and delay departure as they’re loaded into the cargo hold.
While flying last month on American Airlines, I noticed passengers putting their bags flat in the overhead bin then sitting down.
Then I heard the flight attendant’s announcement to turn all bags sideways so they can fit more in. I then realized I was one of those guilty passengers (photo above) so I got up and turned mine to the side, which instantly freed up space (photo below).
So, if you’re traveling in the new year and your aircraft has these new oversized bins, like the 737-MAX, A320, A321NEO, A220 … then be sure to load your luggage the correct way.
BTW: Before the pandemic, I used to put my carry-on bags in the bin across from my seat so I could keep an eye on them. Post-pandemic, I usually put them over my seat since I don’t want people breathing on me while grabbing their stuff. NOTE: Passengers who take a while to get their items from a bag near yours should raise a red flag. Some thieves pretend they’re going into their bags, when in reality, they are stealing from yours. So keep an eye out for this and do a check for your valuables before getting off the plane. I’ve written more about this topic here: In-Flight Theft is Real: Here’s How to Prevent it and Protect Your Belongings
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