Ah, the bulkhead. One of the best seats on the plane! Extra leg room, no one in front of you, a place where you can spread out all of your stuff and finally be comfortable. Or is it? So thought the woman sitting there on my flight early yesterday morning. She sat down in her seat, put her tote bag in the corner in front of her, and got out her water, magazine, purse, and snacks, and set them down around her feet. Obviously, not someone who flies all of the time. The flight attendant came over and let her know that she couldn’t have anything by her feet, and that both of her bags needed to go into the overhead bin. She freaked out. I mean, I could hear her side of the conversation with the flight attendant three rows back. “There’s plenty of room! Why can’t I have my purse? I have to have my purse! What if someone steals it?” Etc.
The bulkhead can seem like a great place—you really do have lots of leg room. But if you are paranoid about your possessions being out of sight for a period of time or need lots of stuff for a flight, it may not be the place for you. For a reason I’m not completely clear on, you are not allowed to have anything at all around your feet, not even behind your legs. (I think it has something to do with needing the area around your feet clear if there is an emergency and you have to run off the plane) If you do sit there, it’s easiest if you don’t need much besides a book or magazine. Certainly you can work there, just make sure your laptop or whatever else you need is close to the opening of your bag—it’s tricky to rummage around while the bag is in the overhead bin. Whatever you do, don’t force your bag under your seat—then you are taking away from the room of the person behind you.
Eventually, the woman yesterday gathered all of her things together and put them in the overhead bin, sighing loudly to signal her displeasure the whole time. (If she had listened to the flight attendants’ announcements in the first place, she would have known the score before she sat down. But that’s a rant for another day….) After takeoff, she loudly excused herself to the person next to her as she went to pull her purse out of the overhead bin. “So sorry! But I had to put all of my things up there, and I need them, so I have to go in front of you.” Passive-aggressive, yes. Oh well. Next time you sit in the bulkhead, try to be nicer and more prepared than her! Your fellow passengers will thank you.