Enforce Carry-On Restrictions

June 25, 2010

in Luggage Stories

I was on a Delta/Northwest flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis. I was amazed how many people (1) boarded before their rows were called so they could shove their things in the overhead compartment (2) had more than 2 items (a suitcase, a backpack, a briefcase and a plastic bag, I’m afraid, is more than 2 carry-ons) and (3) were using bags that were not of the “carry-on” size.

The flight attendants did nothing to ask these hoarders to (1) either gate check their bags or (2) ask them to put something first beneath their seat. I’m also curious how these bags got past security — how would they have fit through the machine?

I know airlines are charging us a fortune, but please save $20 from your gambling or drinking to check in anything modestly over-sized. I felt bad that by the time the plane was half full, there was no overhead bin space.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

rerere June 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

This is the most boring story on this site.


Darryl June 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I have a friend who when this happens to him just leaves his bag in the aisle, the FAs always find a place for it somewhere.


crella June 27, 2010 at 9:09 am

'Boring' or not, it's a huge problem, and charging for checked luggage is causing it. I also wonder how the hell they get those large rolling bags through security, by-passing all those 'check your carry-on size here' boxes. I flew from Atlanta to Boston on May 7th to see my mother for Mother's Day. I had an exit row seat (no underseat storage) and when I got on the overheads above my seat and for three rows back were already crammed. People putting bags there have eyes in their heads and can see that there is no under-seat storage in the front rows but they cram their stuff in there anyway.

However, asking people to gate-check will undoubtedly lead to arguments with several passengers each flight, it would just delay everybody. That's why they don't make them all those passengers turn around and check their huge bags.


KAM July 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I sometimes fly on a small airline (that has small planes) that makes you fit your carry-on items when you check in, and the carry-on items are subsequently flagged. They won't let you board the aircraft with an un-flagged bag, which is SUPER NICE.

I know it would require more personnel on site, but it would be great if everyone was actually restricted in what they could take.


Jennifer R. Povey March 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Virgin Atlantic does the size check and tag thing too. But they also *don't charge for checked bags*.


The Logger June 28, 2010 at 2:57 am

Check each carry-on for size compliance at the gate.

If they don't comply, force the passenger to leave to gate, go to check in, and check the bag.


After enough morons missed their flights, compliance would occur.


sexygal April 8, 2014 at 6:05 am

hopefully, compliance will happen!!!


Darryl June 28, 2010 at 3:27 am

Your idea "The Logger" is what should happen but it won't. If the person who is sent back to the check-in counter to check in their carry-on has checked luggage in the hold, the plane cannot take off with that person's luggage still in the hold if they aren't onboard. So the plane would have to sit at the gate while that person's luggage was removed. Maybe check and then tag their carry-on at the check-in counter. Then if it doesn't have a tag you can't take it onboard.


MM June 29, 2010 at 3:39 am

My suggestion: read some of the other stories on this site about lost, destroyed, or otherwise compromised baggage. It should give some insight into why people who may be perfectly capable of paying nonetheless carry as much as possible onto the plane with them.


Katherine June 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I usually never take a big rolling carry-on. I hate the idea of being "that person" who is shoving her bag into the overhead compartments. I can get it in there, but I am short, and people tend to act like they are obligated to help (I appreciate the sentiment, but would never EXPECT help…) Anyway, I can usually get by with just a change of clothes and my book and laptop in a smaller, hand carried bag. HOWEVER…. I recently took a 3 day trip with a really tight connection in ATL and did not want to check a bag…. I took a rolling carry on. I hated every second of rolling through the airport, knowing people were looking and thinking "uggghhhh…." Anyway, I voluntarily gate checked it when I got to the plane. I had my backpack with what I needed for the flight and was perfectly content with gate checking my bag, relieved to have the option. I don't understand why people make a big stink about being asked to gate check. It is almost better than checking the bag because you KNOW it made it to the plane:)


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