Sometimes I look fondly back at the days when I first started traveling for work (ten years ago, whoa). Upgrades were plentiful, you could easily hop on an earlier flight, and there was plenty of room for carry-ons. Alas, things have changed. These days flights are so crowded that you are lucky to have enough room for yourself, much less your stuff. Flying standby is almost unheard of, and getting an upgrade takes an act of Congress. It can be pretty frustrating for those of us who fly all the time! But there are a few steps you can take to make what room there is fit as many bags as possible. Here are my top three tips for sharing the overhead bin space.
- Put your bag in the right way. Planes are weird. They’re all shaped differently–even two planes of the same model at the same airline may not fit bags in exactly the same way. It can be wheels out, handle out, or sideways. Sometimes a bag will fit in the middle of the plane that won’t fit toward the front. On some planes carry-ons only fit on one side. Regardless, make sure that you are listening to the flight attendants. If your bag will fit wheels out but you put it in sideways that is space someone else could have used!
- Put your bag above your seat. It is SO frustrating to be sitting in row 8, and see someone snag the last space over your seat then make their way to the back of the plane. I know it’s not always feasible, but whenever possible put your bag as close to your seat as possible.
- Don’t put your coat in until all the bags are up. This is a pet peeve of mine. Yes, coats are annoying to hold and it would be great if we could all fit our coats in the overhead bins without problem. But if you put a coat up there before all the bags are in, you are taking space away from a carry-on. There is a really good chance that you’ll be able to squeeze your coat in between a couple of bags. I actually try to put mine in my suitcase before boarding so that it’s not even an issue.
Of course, another problem is people bringing on bags that are too big for the guidelines. But that’s a complaint for another day!
Readers, what are your best tips for sharing the overhead bin space?
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