Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Carry-ons: The battle for overhead spaces on airplanes
Carry-ons: The battle for overhead spaces on airplanes PDF Print E-mail


Q: We hate people who stuff big bags into the overhead, making it impossible for passengers with legally-sized carry-ons to get theirs in. We can’t blame them for trying to avoid the high baggage fees, but what’s the alternative when you fly with a lot of stuff?

J.P., Honolulu HI

A: The best way to keep from being an overhead hog is to travel with one carry-on plus an over-the-shoulder tote or small backpack. Put the big bag in the overhead and stash the other under your seat. As for getting overhead space before someone else does, book your flight so that you’re in your seat as early as possible, before others start hogging the space. Of course, this won’t do you any good if you’re making a connecting flight and most of the passengers are already aboard.


If, once aboard, you can’t find overhead space near your seat, take your bag to the back of the passenger section, where you can usually find the last overhead spaces to be filled up. It’s a hassle when the aircraft lands, but if you’re patient, you’ll only need a few minutes to retrieve your carry-on.

If all else fails, ask the flight attendant to stash your bag in another open space. Don’t ask the attendant to lift your bag into the overhead. They don’t do that anymore. Either you do it yourself or find a kindly, husky young passenger to help you


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