February 1, 2010

Let's work it out....

Ok, I get it! I really do...

Planning a trip is stressful enough, whether it is for work or play. Someone needs to pick up your mail, walk the dog, water the plants. Most of us are already stressed by the time we sit down to actually plan the trip and find a our airline tickets.. so it comes as no surprise that once you agree to pay "x" amount of dollars, you expect to pay "x" amount of dollars. So, you book a ticket on "welikeyourmoney airlines" and after you purchase your ticket you read that it costs $15, $20 or $25 dollars EXTRA to check a bag.

The injustice of it all! "Not my bag" you think to yourself.

While packing you decide to take a few less things so you can take your smaller "carry on" bag. (Or you do what the rest of us do, you cram it all in there and sit on it to make it shut- and forget taking just one bag if you are bring kids with you!)

You arrive at the airport happy to have saved "y" amount of money on your bag so you can buy a $5 cup of coffee at the airport and a $7 meal or drink on the plane. You are in zone 3 or 5 or 8 when your flight boards... you finally get on, one of the last people sweating from lugging your life on wheels all around creation. You get to your row, look up and all the overhead space is gone! YOUR bin is Full!!!! Who dared to put their things in YOUR bin?
"I PAID for this space" you think furiously.

Now, lets pause- before you turn, give the Flight Attendant that evil eye look and demand she find room for your bag...
Let's discuss this issue... Whose space is it???

Ask me, that flight attendant you are about to pounce on, and I will tell you that the overhead bin space is a shared space for all the passengers on board the flight. Now I will tell you from experience that most folks do not like that answer.

Let's face the facts here.
1.) When you buy a seat on an airline flight, that is just it... you purchased a seat for the duration of your flight. You don't buy the armrest and you do not buy the overhead bin space. (At least not for now, don't count it out for the future though! $ is the way of the majority of the airlines.) The perk is- You DO get the space under the seat in Front of you. That is unless you happen to be seated in the bulkhead- aka. a row with no seats in front of you, usually just a wall in the aircraft. You, bulkhead rows do not get the additional storage space, but you do have some extra leg room.

2.) Airplane overhead storage space was not meant to house everything you are bringing on your trips. There is something called the cargo compartment that was meant to hold all the larger items brought to the plane. AKA checked luggage. IT was not meant for the overhead storage space. Lets all understand that this is the problem at hand. Airlines charge for checked luggage-> people carry on all their bags to avoid costs-> overhead bin storage runs out. (I do have to add that I think people travel with more things these days then they did 20 and 30 years ago! More stuff= less space).

3.) So, if overhead storage space is considered open to everyone it is in good taste and deemed appropriate behavior to place your belongings in the bins closest to your seat. (Yes, this means you "guy in the last row who places their bags in the first overhead bin to avoid carrying it to the back of the plane". That is rude behavior!)
It is also good behavior to place large items in the overhead, placing smaller backpacks and purses under your seat and save you coats for after everyone has boarded to place on top of bags in the bins if your plane does not have a closet (and most don't).

So, back to your issue at hand. There you stand with no available bin space for your over-packed bags. Take a moment, look around for a bin to re-organize and ask the flight attendant to assist you in finding a space for your bag. That is what we are there for, to help you. We are not there to be scowled at, yelled at or even to stow any of your belongings for you. Trust me, we get it. We know why the bins are full... we understand why everyone is scrambling for the space and we don't think less of anyone for it. So, let's all just take a deep breath together and work it out...


Good Karma said...

Well said. I kills me to see how stupid people get once they step foot on an aircraft. When you have a piece of luggage you could fit a small child into.....it's going to be a problem! Use you head people!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice article you got here. It would be great to read something more about this matter. Thank you for posting this info.