Last week, we talked about etiquette for planes. One could reasonably argue that etiquette for carry-on suitcases should fit under that umbrella. And it probably does. But this is such an important part of thoughtful travel that I felt it deserved its own post. Here are some guidelines for how to share that overhead bin space, nicely.
- Know your airline’s guidelines. All major airlines have the size and weight restrictions for carry-ons on their website. If your bag is too big, they may make you check it. Also, there are slightly different size requirements for international carriers vs. American carriers, so make sure your bag works for your continent as well.
- Make sure you can lift your bag. You may not be able to depend on having people around you that can help, and some flight attendants are prohibited from helping customers put bags up.
- Put your suitcase on the correct side of the airplane, facing the correct way. Listen to what the flight attendants tell you to do, and do it. If one side of the plane is made to hold rollaboards, please put your suitcase there. That way there is room for everyone’s stuff.
- Only put your large bag in the overhead. Put your purse or briefcase under the seat in front of you, until you know for sure there will be room. Also, don’t put your jacket in a bin unless it’s going on top of or in front of your bag. Again, we’re trying to make room for everyone.
- Put your bag in the bin as close to your seat as possible. If you are sitting in row 25, and there is no room over 25 and there is room over 23, that’s one thing. But if you’re sitting in row 25 and you put your bag over row 8, the people in row 8 won’t have room.
- Don’t make it your plan to gate check. If you bring a normal sized carry-on that you are happy to bring on the plane or gate-check, that is one thing. But please don’t bring an oversized bag on the plane, expecting they will make you gate-check it. If you are bringing too much stuff, check your bag. If you don’t want to pay the fee, bring less stuff. Don’t slow everyone else down because you’re trying to save $20.
- When getting your bag out of the overhead bins, please, please be careful. I have seen people get hit in the head, and come close to getting hit myself, by rogue rollaboards.
Readers, what are your favorite etiquette tips for carry-ons?