Carry-on regardless

A friend writes: “Brett, here’s a topic suggestion for a future Plane Sailing post …”


I always welcome suggestions, and this is a good one.

The writer, let’s call him Jeff, continues: “… the need for airlines to get serious about enforcing their own supposed carry-on baggage restrictions.

“They let spoiled-brat passengers who can’t be bothered with waiting to fetch their steamer trunks off the carousel get away with the most egregious flouting of the dimensional limit.

“It’s happening with bigger and bigger bags, and the result is jam-packed overhead bins and short tempers.”

What can I say, except that I agree? Although “Jeff” contends that I “probably don’t experience this anymore, since nowadays you ride up front with the fancy folks*”, I have noticed it a lot — and I have seen cabin crew go to incredible lengths to accommodate these people.

And I’m glad to report that at least one airline is doing something about it.

When I last flew Alitalia from Rome, airlines staff went around the departure lounge and assessed people’s carry-on luggage.

Some passengers were told that they could only take their items on board if they put them under the seat in front. Others were told that they could use the overhead bins, and given a label for the luggage to indicate that that was the case.

And, importantly, some were told that their luggage would have to go into the hold, and arrangements were made for that to happen.

So, well done, Alitalia! However, although I have two questions:

+ Why could this not be done at check-in rather than at the departure gate?

+ Why don’t other airlines do it?

*In future, barring a change in fortune, my business-class adventures will extend only as far as my frequent-flyer points allow. 

3 thoughts on “Carry-on regardless”

  1. I saw an official at Dubai airport telling a passanger he would have to check in his very large carry on bag when he was at the security checkpoint. Many Americans travel with huge carry-ons because they hate to wait at the carousel.
    My first trip from Paris to London (in 2000) on BA was delayed because of all the carry-ons that had to be stowed before take-off.

  2. What I am seeing more and more is a trend to the person sitting in say 27C sticking their carry on above 14C then heading down the plane to their seat. So when the people in and around 14C are looking to stow their luggage, chaos ensues slowing the entire boarding process and impacting departure

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