Flier is Frustrated by Bags in Bins

October 24, 2010

in Flying Hell Commentary

This isn’t so much one specific flight from hell, but more of EVERY flight that I’m on ever since airlines found a way to gouge even more money out of fliers by charging for checked baggage. I’m a frequent flier and also have one of those airline-partnered credit cards, so I don’t pay for checked bags to begin with. But I’m so tired of being the last “zone” to board because I am seated near the front of the coach cabin, only to find that the overhead bins above my seats are full of carry-on luggage by first class passengers! I’ve already checked my bags to cut down on the demand, but I often have a laptop which must go in the overhead bin because I’m seated against the bulkhead where there is no other option than the overheads.

Then when everyone is scrambling to retrieve their bags upon landing, it infuriates me when a passenger that has stored their bag nowhere near their seat insists that everyone pass their bags forward (all the while bumping people’s heads, etc.) so that they can deplane!

If you’re in first class, you should either store your bags in the first class cabin or check them like everyone else. Do not take the overhead space in economy and expect everyone to help you collect your bags upon landing. You can just sit in your comfy first class seat and wait on the rest of us to deplane and then retrieve your bags!

Remember when the cost of jet fuel (and oil in general) skyrocketed in 2008 and airlines just HAD to do something to cover the higher cost of fuel, so they started charging for checked bags? Well now that oil/fuel prices have come back down to the pre-sky high days, the airlines will NEVER stop this revenue source. But they now need to solve the problem that THEY created and monitor the use of overhead bins.

P.S. The same goes for people who are seated at the rear of the plane that fill up the space at the front of the coach cabin as they’re boarding because they’re “not sure if there will be space when they get back to their seat!”

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dina October 24, 2010 at 11:09 am

I think I've been extremely lucky – I've rarely encountered this, and when the overhead bin for my seat has been full, I've only had to jump across the aisle or a few seats forward or back to find space for my bag… and I'm one of those bitches who doesn't check bags (I stay within my limits though!)


rerere October 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

This is why you fly an airline like Southwest or jetBlue. They don't charge for checked baggage.


20lorraine October 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I honestly don't understand why this is a problem……..EASILY SOLVED —

1. When you reach your row at the front of coach and the bin is full of F class psgrs belongings, simply remove them, put them in the aisle and tell the flight attendant you have no idea whose bags they are but you saw "someone" from F class leave it there. This will force the flight attendant to go up to first class and find out whose bag it is — let the chaos begin – for the responsible party who dumped their bag in someone else's space. !!

2. Certainly don't remove and move forward someone else's bag upon arrival; I would just leave it there — let that idiot swim upstream to get it.

Don't waste time complaining if you don't have the balls or imagination to teach someone else a lesson about their greed and stupidity.


Tam October 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

LOL! Love it.


MD-11 October 24, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Even with added bag fees, fares are still criminally low. As to the issue of First class usage of economy bin space, that's kind of a toss-up. On many flights the vast majority of revenue generated comes from the few people that paid a full first class fare. If this had been an aircraft with an all economy cabin, that boosted revenue wouldn't exist, and you would have had to pay a lot more for your economy seat. The argument that the loss of revenue from not having a first class section can be made up by the extra economy seats you can fit in it's place doesn't work in today's world of 40 dollar airfares. So, if I was sitting in first class, and I had paid literally ten times the price of any coach seat, I think I might just feel entitled to some overhead space to put my bag. After all, I did pay for a much larger percentage of the fuel, labor, and aircraft cost.

It was considerate of you to check your bags, shows more forethought than most, even if it didn't cost you anything.

Bottom line here is that there isn't enough bin space anyways because no one checks their bags anymore because 25 bucks seems like an outrageous fee considering that some people paid 40 for their ticket. There are a lot of old/disabled folks who don't check bags because of the fee either and really shouldn't be lugging it around themselves or relying on others to do it for them. The best solution would be simply to do away with bag fees by reintegrating them with the fare. However, most major airlines can't afford to raise their fares even 25 dollars because of the low cost carriers undercutting them.

Oh and the bit about people asking for their bags to be passed forward is absolutely deplorable. No one should rely on others to carry their bag or move it for any reason.


Jim October 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Where do you find 40.00 flights?

I fly out of Dallas, and I have never paid less than 350.00 for a flight outside of Texas or Oklahoma.

For grins, I went on Orbitz. The cheapest flight from Dallas to Houston is 149.00 on American. 349.00 on any other carrier. Since Southwest is not on Orbitz, checked out their site, and they are 149.00 too.

Checked out Dallas to Los Angeles, 348.00 on Orbitz is the best price on American, and 350.00 was the price on Southwest.

On occasion, I get notified of 150.00 air specials, but there are so many restrictions, like only flying on a Tuesday to a limited destination like Emporia, KS, that it is not practical.

I do have an American AAdvantage Citi Card credit card, and once I spend $25,000.00 I get a free flight in the continental U.S. But, I am sure with that even, the credit card company is paying a marketing fee to American, thinking that I will pay interest, (which I don't as I pay it in full)….

I do understand that even at $350.00 adjusted for inflation, this is way cheaper than flights were 20 or 30 years ago…..but, I still want to know where do you get 40.00 flights?


James October 26, 2010 at 6:50 am



Kiri the Can Opener January 31, 2011 at 10:34 pm



Jim October 25, 2010 at 6:23 am

MD-11, as to your comment about First Class passengers paying more for their seats…..I do not think that is very often the case. Many passengers sitting there are usually upgraded due to frequent flier miles, etc…. I guess you could argue, due to their frequent flier status, they in the long term have paid more…but, not for that specific flight.

With that said, I agree with the poster. What has gotten into people? They stuff so much into their baggage and then can barely manage it. I am so tired of people asking me to help them lift their bag into the bin. If they cannot manage it, they should check it. Period. I am also tired of people asking me to retrieve their bag because they sat several rows behind me….and, in turn took the space over my seat.

I carry on a small backpack that fits under the seat in front of me. And, I check the rest of my luggage. I do this so I can avoid the hassles of carrying large bags onto the plane, and trying to find adequate space, etc.. As such, I do not expect to have to help others with their carry-ons because they were too cheap to check it. Seriously, most flights cost several hundred dollars at least….so, really what is an extra $25.00? To me it is worth paying and checking it to avoid the hassles. But, as such I DO NOT WANT TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR LUGGAGE…I CHECKED MINE. YOU CAN DO THE SAME.

I think the airlines should assign a specific space to a specific seat. And, each person's space has the same amount of area. And, your bag must fit in that space. If it doesn't you have to check it. And, you are not allowed to encroach onto someone elses space.

I may have been lucky, but I have never had my luggage lost or contents stolen. I make sure I carry anything of value or necessity with me in my backpack, and that I have one change of clothes, just in case. I also insure that I get to the airport, within plenty of time to properly check my luggage….to date, I have had no issues.

Just think if everyone checked their big bags, how much more orderly and timely loading and unloading would be. If people only carried the necessities, it would cut down on one negative about flying


Dina October 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

The reason that I choose to carry my bags with me isn't because I'm worried about things getting lost or the cost (since most of my flights are international and include a baggage allowance), but because it saves me a hell of a lot of time. Going through customs without waiting for my bags to come through the carousel means the lines are shorter and I can get to my next gate with plenty of time to spare. It also means that I can stand by for earlier flights if I have a big gap. If my first flight is late, I don't have to worry about my bags getting to the connecting flights, either.

I've never had my luggage lost, although that's probably because I rarely check it. My father the business traveler has many times – including twice in the same trip! (Go go British Airways…)

That being said, if I need more space than is afforded by a duffel bag or a small roller, I grit my teeth and check it. Last time I did this, my bag came off the plane nearly last and I ended up waiting in line for Customs at LAX for the better part of two hours. -_- Only reaffirms my desire to keep carrying on!


Jim October 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm


You make good points for International travel and connecting flights. But, I would think most people travelling international would have way too much luggage to be able to carry it all on.

As far as waiting for the luggage carousel… domestically I have never waited more than 30 minutes. And, I personally prefer that wait as to the hassles of carry-on.


James October 26, 2010 at 6:56 am

It does vary from airport to airport. Last time I flew international into SFO, I checked three bags, and from the moment the door of the plane opened to when I was on the curb hailing a taxi was under 10 minutes, they were amazing efficient. (Virgin, flying in from London, "upper" class on a miles-paid upgrade.)

ATL, IAH, are about average in the US. EWR is slow, but the two worst are LAX and JFK. LAX was about a 90 minute wait for luggage to appear, and JFK was a four hour wait (chronicled in my own flight from hell, back in 1983. I've not flown through JFK since.)

SIN, TPE, HKG, LCY, AMS, EDI, GLA, KLL, SEZ are all efficient and fast. BKK, EZE, GIG, LHR, NBO, CAI, TNR, CDG less so.


Dina October 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

LAX is a nightmare in every way possible. I don't fly through there if I can avoid it! (Unfortunately, that last time I couldn't. Last minute destination change = you take what you can get!)


rerere October 26, 2010 at 11:00 am

My recent flight back in July from LAX-JFK was less time than expected, however, we had to wait about 1 hour to get our baggage do to a problem at JFK. LAX had NO problem. Sadly, JFK is the closest cross country and international airport near me.


James October 27, 2010 at 6:16 am

You have my sympathy. My family is in New Jersey, so I end up visiting my parents via EWR; it is better than JFK but still very slow with luggage.


Dina October 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

Oh yeah, I definitely recognize that most people don't travel as lightly as I. 🙂 I'm the kind of person who travels around Europe with nothing that can't fit in a duffel bag and my handbag!


Jondo October 28, 2010 at 4:50 am

People these days are selfish when it comes to flying. They think that they are in their own private jet, and have no regard for the other passengers. What really pisses me off is when people bring all their shit onto the plane instead of checking it in. If they bring a bag that is allowed to go on, but it still is pretty big, get check it to avoid fees. Also, the first class overheads should be enough for the first class passengers. If they really need the space in economy, then they probably shouldn't be carrying on whatever they have in the first place.


Val G January 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm

This post gives me a chance to unburden myself of something I’ve kept for over nearly 20 years.

In the early 90’s I was on a flight from Houston to Burbank which had a stop in Phoenix. I was an aisle seat in coach two rows from the front and was one of about six passengers who were travelling through. After those bound for Phoenix had left, the new arrivals began boarding.

The second person on was a self-important businessman who stuck his carryon into the bin opposite me and then walked to his seat in one of the back rows. As the plane was nearly empty at that point he couldn’t use the excuse that he was afraid the bins in the rear wouldn’t have space.

Ultimately the flight was nearly full, and the man who ended up in the seat near me was the last to board. There was no space in the bins except at the very rear of the plane. When we landed he had to wait for all the rest of us to disembark before he could, and he had told me he had a tight connection. Because we were already over 30 minutes late departing from PHX I didn’t say anything at the start, not wanting to delay us anymore, but the selfishness of the bin hog irritated me.

My confession is that when we landed in BUR and everyone was standing so the jerk couldn’t see me I took his bag as though it were mine. I hit the first bathroom and left it in a stall, assuming someone else would either turn it in or rifle it. I suspect the self centered jerk never hogged a bin again.

(Yes, I know it was passive-aggressive, but he was a LOT bigger than I. In any case the statute of limitations has long since passed!)


Peta October 24, 2016 at 10:55 am

Well done!!!! I admire you!


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: