A late-boarding business class passenger removed the bag of an economy class passenger from the overhead bin and threw it in the aisle, so that his bag would fit. Who was the jerk?
Business Class Passenger Tosses Economy Class Carry-On Bag From Overhead Bin Into Aisle
Let’s begin with the story, as posted on reddit, and then I’ll analyze it.
I’m one of the last on the plane, sat in business class (full fare, paid ticket, not an upgrade). There is a walled partition between business and economy.
I open the overhead bin and there is a little bit of room if I shift thing’s about to fit my bags (I’m carrying well within my weight/size limits) when someone pipes up for me to please be careful with their bag.
The voice is coming from the 2nd row of economy!!
With that, I pulled his bag out and placed it at his feet and promptly stowed my bags. Keep in mind there is a placard in the bis saying “Business Class use only”. Once I put my two bags in the overhead, there was no more room for the one from economy.
FAs tried to find a place for the economy bag but it ultimately had to be be gate checked.
FAs apologized to me for the ‘inconvenience’ and said they should have been more watchful. The passenger (understandably) and one of the ground personnel tried to have a shot at me for taking his bag out – said I shouldn’t have touched his bag.
My argument was I paid for the space according to my ticket. My bags were where they were meant to be…his weren’t.
In follow-up comments, he claims he was not on a US carrier and that his airline allowed business class passengers to carry onboard two carry-on items plus one personal items. Sounds like he may have been flying Lufthansa…
And Lufthansa does have the following sign above each overhead bin in business class:
In the USA, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines do the same thing (pictured at top).
The man also claimed that when he notified a flight attendnat what was going on, the flight attendant took his side, apologized to him for not more closely monitoring the overhead bin, and scolded the economy passenger for using the wrong overhead bin.
View From The Wing calls the passenger a jerk for removing the bag. That’s a reasonable charge. Once the man determined that the bag in the overhead bin was from economy class and his bag would not fit, he should have notified a flight attendant rather than take matters into his own hands.
Note, this is not because you are entitled to the overhead bin space directly above your space. You are not! But you are reasonably entitled to the overhead bin space in your own cabin and such space, particularly for late-boarding passengers, is an advertised perk of business class.
Thus, there are two jerks at play here. The passenger in business who threw the bag out and the passenger in economy class who placed the bag there in the first place despite the clear placard that the space was only for business class passengers.
The proper protocol in this station would have been to notify a flight attendant and for the flight attendant to remove the bag. I refuse to touch any bag that is not mine on an aircraft…who knows what kind of fight that will trigger…
Was the passenger a jerk for throwing the bag into the aisle? Sure. But so was the other passengers for putting his bag in the wrong bin. Overhead bins are shared space and it is a free-for-all, but only within your cabin of service. You should not place your bags into the overhead bin of another cabin unless explicitly invited to do so by a flight attendant.