Let’s have a passenger etitquete discussion. First, is it proper to place hand baggage in an overhead storage bin that is not directly above your seat? Second, is it ever proper for a passenger to move someone else’s luggage from an overheard bin space above their own seat?
In an era of checked bag fees, the issue arises often. Passengers board their flight and often find that overhead bin space is filling up or appears full already. Do you keep moving back or take the first space you can find? As long as it is not in a different cabin, I will always take the first space I can find rather than having to put my bag behind my seat. You can usually see what is still available as you board: I won’t put my bag in a forward bin unless I can see that there is no space in my row or a closer row, but in FRONT of my seat. When you put your bag in an overhead locker behind your seat, you either have to swim upstream or wait until passengers disembark before retrieving your bag.
That’s fairly straightforward, isn’t it? I don’t see controversy there, with the caveat once again that first class overhead bin space is for first class passengers and should not be taken if you are seated in economy class and the bin space looks full.
Some passengers, however, have a different expectation. I’ve witnessed multiple incidents where a passengers will become irate if overhead bin space is not available directly above their seat. On one flight, a man pulled out the bag that was directly above his seat, dropped it on the aisle floor, and placed his own bag in instead.
The owner of the bag was only sitting a couple rows behind and a verbal argument erupted. Thankfully, some coats were moved to make room for his displaced bag.
Another time, I watch a passenger yell at a flight attendant because “her” overhead bin space was gone. No amount of convincing could convince her that the space was on a first-come, first-serve basis. She also pulled out someone else’s bag, but the flight attendant was standing right there and told her she could not do it. Eventually, her bag was accommodated in a closet.
Don’t Touch Other People’s Bags!
I’m of the opinion that it is never appropriate to move someone else’s bag. Overhead bin space is claimed on a first-come, first-served basis and the idea that you have a specific claim to any bin space is absurd.
If a bag has been placed above your seat, deal with it…find other space. Do not, under any circumstance, touch what doesn’t belong to you.
I do know that sometimes passengers can be obnoxious. Sometimes, the overhead bin above their row will be wide open and they will still place their bag over yours. That’s poor manners, but again, the overhead bin space is shared – you have no claim to the space above your head.
The good news for all of us is that overhead bins are getting larger. Both Boeing and Airbus have new-generation overhead bins that can accommodate many more larger carry-on bags placed in on their side. With the proliferation of basic economy tickets plus the new overhead bins, hopefully this will not be a problem forever.
But in the meantime, don’t even think about moving someone else’s bag…
Do you agree? Have you ever moved someone else’s carry-on bag?
I agree that you should not move another person’s bag. However, what about the situation where a gate hawk rushed to board and places BOTH their rollerboard and personal item above the seat? Should one be able to ask a person to place their personal item under the seat in front of them in order to make room for that person’s rollerboard?
Ask yes. Involve the FA if necessary. But don’t pull someone’s bag out, no matter how small.
The time has come to add a new section to the check-in process (and I’m being serious in principal):
“Are you, or are you travelling with someone, for whom this is your first time ever flying?”
If yes, please remember:
1) We are not licensed to carry savages and wild animals in the passenger cabin. If you have the manners of a m animal, you must fly cargo.
1) The aircraft will be boarded by group/zone. If you attempt to board before your group/zone is called, we will deny boarding until the very, very, very end. Trying to ‘rush the gate’ is simply not going to work outbids you.
2) On your ticket you will find a seat number. That is the only place you’re allowed to sit, other than our fairly compact lavatory (which is absolutely only ever for 1 person at a time).
3) If you attempt to self-upgrade, you will be served with 1 of 2 options – a bill for the upgrade cost difference…or a sky full of attitude.
4) All overhead bin space is shared and is available first-come, first-served. Touching or attempting to move anyone else’s belongings, without their consent, automatically extends the right for a flight attendant to broadcast any or all of the photos on your unlocked smartphone throughout the cabin (even the ones in your hidden folder). Afterall, you clearly consent that property, no your eyes, is communal and that privacy is not a real thing.
5) Finally, if you choose to take your socks off and put your feet on walls, screens, other people, etc., that is your choice – as much as it is for us to take off our socks and prepare a special meal just for you…using only our feet.
I believe that one day will come where there IS NO CARRY ON allowed.. that is going to cause some stir…i already see some airlines charging for carry on bags if more then one. Then theres some that have carry on bags large enough to carry the Mueller report, and they have loads of stuff in there .
You realize those bins are 3 rows long, right?
9 bags will never fit.
Airlines count on the fact that not everyone will have a carryon. It’s a simple way to optimize space since that space could be used for better things like headroom, A/C vents, other creature comforts. Would be a waste to the airlines if there was ALWAYS enough overhead bin space.
Personal item should never go in overhead and neither should coats. Larger carry on only. Anything else and you’re hogging the space.
Lucky for us, the staff on Wizzair A321 is asking passengers to remove their free small bags from overhead compartments to accommodate carry on bags people have paid to travel with. Low cost, high service!
Totally agree with you bag-pulling example, but disagree with ever touching another bag. I think it’s fine to shift things within a bin to make space for your own carryon.
Too many people first on the plane put their personal item and jacket (and/or all their bags from concourse shopping) above just so they can have clear leg space. They use being first on as a personal comfort upgrade to the detriment of other passengers.
Simple New rule, no personal items allowed in overhead bins until all passengers have boarded. Your personal item should be small enough to fit under the seat anyway.
If you buy too much in the concourse to fit, you’re gonna have to check something.
And honestly, even if you don’t have a carryon, I think a carryon should ALWAYS have priority in the overhead.
If you want the personal space, it’s called an upgrade, and no it’s not free. Otherwise have some common courtesy.
@ Matthew– Couldn’t agree more.
Could not agree with u at all here. U will see someone place their coat, laptop bag, ear muffs and beanie all across a whole overhead bin, taking up the whole thing.
In this case, while u are about to be trampled in the aisle by the twenty people waiting behind u, u are not gonna ask that guy to move from the window seat to the aisle to organize his strewn crap.
It is wholely okay to slide his crap to one side and shame on him for being so stupid and inconsiderate.
The flight attendant is gonna do the same thing in five minutes and less gently so. So why should u be left with no place for your carryon as other bins fill up?
Medical bag is the exception to the rule. A FA should still be involved, but medical bags bigger than personal should 100% be within arms reach of standing up I.C.E.
Anyone who fights someone on this is more than willing to assist in dragging the dead or dying body off the plane and has to explain to their boss/partner/child/detective why they felt the need that their bag just needed to go above them.
I would never move somebody else’s bag to a different bin, and would certainly never place it on the floor. But I WILL *gasp* gently turn their bag on the side if they are one of those people who haven’t figured out you can get one or two more roller bags in a bin if they are on their side (or worse, one of those idiots who puts the bag in lengthways).
I’ll also proactively offer to help load or unload bags if need be- I get that many people can have trouble lifting their bag up there without being able to see what they are doing. Sometimes poor placement is just due to the fact that it was all a passenger could do to get their bag above their head.
And yes, keep your bag in your cabin! I very rarely fly first class, but it’s amazing how many people think they are entitled to pop their bag in the first class bins for their own convenience- I’ve witnessed many people do it just so they can grab their bag at the last second as they deplane.
Common sense and courtesy go a long way.
One I’ve experienced is my exit row mate on 773 who wanted the end of the overhead bin, so they moved my bag into the middle space so they could put theirs on the end, doing so over me sitting on the aisle.
When you pay extra to choose your seat in advance, you should get the associated bin space. If you, Matthew, have taken my space, and you are sitting more than 3 rows behind me, I will slide or move your stuff. As you mentioned, it is going to be annoying for you and me both if I have to fight my way back to get my bag due to your stupidity. You should have one of 6 bins to choose from… the one above you, the one across from you, or the bins one section behind or in front of you. If those bins are full, your bag gets checked…simple. If you want to place your bad at the front of the plane, then book early and choose that seat, or pay to sit there. If you find yourself in the cheap seats at the back of the plane, why not keep your bags with you? The bin space will be available because jackass Matthew has already put his bag in my spot.
I completely disagree with your assessment. The bins are numbered with the appropriate seat. There is Typically space for 3 carry on per seat. So what happens if you are in row 12 and the next available bin is row 15. You displayed a perfect example of a passenger a couple row behind using a forward overhead bin. Why would he do that? Screws up the whole plane.
Nope. Flight attendants often take up several bins with all their stuff. Numbering means nothing, IMO.
I disagree. People should use the space above their own seat. If the FA used the bin above your seat then as you say “ deal with that !”
Numbers means nothing. What will you do if someone put the luggage on your seat? Find another seat, numbers are irrelevant
Those numbers are SEAT numbers. not BIN numbers. If they were bin numbers they would be called bin numbers and be labeled appropriately as such. Perhaps, we need the airlines to stitch them on the seat so people can better understand?
Nope. You are wrong. There are seats without bins available and in those cases, they must use another overhead bin. Overhead bins are NEVER assigned. The numbers on the bottom of the bins are the seat numbers only. Bins are free for all.
What if their bag is running lengthwise because they either don’t know that they were supposed to put it upright?
Fair question. In that case I don’t think it is wrong to adjust it, as long as it fits.
I am of the opinion that the first four bins are for bulkhead passengers. Since I’m first to board, out of boredom and pettiness I keep track of who places their bags there, and if it’s someone from the back, and someone in bulkhead boards late, I let them know who’s bag that is. Generally, flight attendants remove it after finding the culprit.
I think I may have been the individual that you referenced in the first scenario. My bag was in first class l, I was sitting right behind first class, and the gentleman took my bag out, left it on the floor, and put his bags in. I don’t disagree that the first class overhead area is for first class passengers but there’s certainly 100 other, kinder, ways that could have been dealt with .
I’m not sure about your situation, but I was on a late arrival from Asia connecting to a domestic US flight. My family had booked three first-class tickets, occupying 3/4 of the 2-2 seating on a 737. We boarded nearly last and I watched a passenger from nearly the wing put a bag over our seats and walk to his own. We had just one bag to go overhead, everything else underneath our seats and yet there wasn’t room for a single bag of ours above. I removed the passenger’s bag, left it in the aisle and placed my own up above. The FA came through and asked whose bag it was until the party raised his hand halfway through the plane. It was placed in an open space above his row.
It was a petty moment for me, one I have done just once. But if I bought nearly a row of the plane on both sides of the aircraft and don’t have a spot for a single bag because someone in the back doesn’t want to even try to place one over their own seat, I don’t see how I am in the wrong.
@Kyle: way to go!
On a recent domestic UA flight in F the guy sitting next to me asked if he could put his rollerboard in the center between us (there are basically 3 places to put stuff in front of two people in A319s in F). I pointed out there was space for his rollerboard in overhead bin on the other side. Then I said that would mean both of us could stretch out our legs. He seemed confused but did what I said. (I can be very firm about these matters.)
If the size of the carry on was regulated, there would be room. They have a frame to check size but I have never seen it enforced. Those huge backpacks, expanded suitcases and hockey sized duffel bags would need to be checked and leave more room for all.
I avoid the first couple rows of economy plus because the bulkhead bins fill up so quick (which I get because they have to put even personal items up top) and it just starts this cascade of bags going further and further back…
Aaron, what you mention is my pet peeve. Nothing pisses me off more than to see someone put their bags in the bin lengthwise. There is, particularly for certain business travellers who know their bag will not fit wheels-first, a special place in hell for them. But, I digress. In all fairness, if I am unable to get to a bag placed in the bin lengthwise, I always appreciate when other passengers become proactive by rotating the bag to help allocate more bags.
Off your topic, but as I am already posting; if I see an entitled person put their bag in the bins near the bulkhead and they are in row 35 and I know for a fact there is space in the rear, I will pull their bag from the bin, beeline towards that person and place the bag in the bin close to their seat.
Certain mannerisms and common courtesies by the travelling public are necessary in order for everyone to have an enjoyable flight. (NO COATS IN THE BINS, Refrain from placing small shopping bags in the bins, and finally, if you are not in the bulkhead or exit row, under no circumstanves should you place your bags in the bins in those sections, especially if they are placarded.)
I agree, with two caveats:
1. Someone who places there carry-on bag in a bin across the aisle from their seat when the bin above them is not full is not displaying bad manners; they are simply placing their bag in a location where they can maintain visual contact on it during boarding; and
2. Touching someone’s bag to maximize the bin space is not rude or otherwise inappropriate, provided that you do not move the other person’s bag from the general space in which it originally occupied. In such instances asking people seated nearby if it is their bag and asking permission to move it is the polite and prudent thing to do.
One other thing I do is any of my kids who’s feet can’t touch the floor or barely touch the floor. I always make sure one of our bags is under their seat vs in the overhead (even if a rollerbag..as long as it fits). Your 6 year old doesn’t need the leg room. Just saying. My 12 year old is now tall enough where I’ll only do it sometimes but even then my 12 years old doesn’t necessarily get first dibs over being comfortable over an adult (you gotta do your time like everyone else in society did)
I generally agree with this, with perhaps one extension as others touched on – smaller bags, and asking. There is some general etiquette needed in order to fit all the larger carry on bags, so if someone has a really small bag I will occasionally ask if I could move it to better use the space (i.e. to the smaller bins in the center or to the edges).
In general I’ve found as long as you ask, folks are typically fine with you moving their bags to optimize the space. I do agree touching someones bag without asking is a no-go.
I move bags around if i can optimize space and squeeze mine in. I may even move it to the opposite bin.
Most people don’t care as long as they don’t have to go back to get the bags. Some people will be nasty but they will be so even if you were nice to them. So don’t mind them.
There is no legal case to be made by a person that their bag was moved. So don’t care what the other person thinks.
In the “Conclusion” you jump to a topic not previously discussed — i.e., Boeing and Airbus enlarging overhead bin space. Should new thoughts be introduced for the first time in the Conclusion?
Disagree wholeheartedly with your original edict of never touching stuff that isn’t yours. As others have said, there are times where “less experienced” passengers load poorly (I’m being charitable to the likely lobotomized lurches who don’t know how to navigate objects of a certain size into a bin of a certain size – we’ve seen the memes and videos).
When laptop bags, purses, coats, shopping bags (ie anything “squishable”) are taking up space, you are 100% within your right to a) re-org the entire bin without permission b) extended your re-org to a nearby bin (with permission- owner needs to be aware of new location); c) ask that a under-seat item be placed under seat, if it comes to that.
Special consideration should also be given to larger overheads that stack rollers vertically/on their side. If a whole bin is stacked the wrong way, re-standing all other rollers on their side without permission (ie, loaded CORRECTLY) is 100% appropriate, no matter the dirty looks.
You can be a good citizen if you load correctly, compactly, and YES – you can even put your jacket up there if you don’t mind squeezing it around a bin full of roller boards.
I tend to agree with you here. That being said, I’ve shuffled coats and smaller items (like briefcases, etc.) around within the same bin when it appears that my bag can fit if the space is arranged more efficiently. I don’t see an issue with that, as nobody’s stuff is being removed. I would leave that sort of thing to the FA’s to deal with.
Your very own description of your practice illustrates the problem created for other travelers. “I will always take the first space I can find rather than risk having to put my bag behind my seat.” So, if you’re in row 22, but you see a spot open at row 8, you put your bag there? And everyone else at the back of the plane also puts there stuff at row 8. Guess what happens when the people at row 8 then board AFTER you? That’s right… then THEY are the ones stuck swimming upstream to put their bags further back, because all the bins at the front are full! Sounds like a case of justifying bad behavior with a “not my problem” attitude.
I wondered about this exact same thing. If I’m in row 22–and I’m boarding as part of the normal process–I try to carry my bag back at least as far as the general vicinity of row 22.
Now I suppose if I was making a connection and was one of the last people to board, then I would likely go for the first open space I saw. But I can’t tell if that’s what Matthew was referring to.
You misunderstand. In my example, from row 8, I can see row 22. If there is space, I take my bag back (could be in another row closer, but in FRONT of my seat). Otherwise, row 8 it is.
I have no problem with that. Entirely legit, and even acceptable IF there truly are no spaces further back. But I see it all the time (I fly weekly), where people will literally put their bag in the very first available spot, regardless of how far back they are seated. It’s the main reason I avoid the seats at the front, even though these are considered premium seats. If I can’t find a spot for my carry on, then that’s not a more convenient seat.
If the seats are already occupied and bin space is remaining above them, sure, put your bag there in front of your seat. Otherwise, get your bag back to where it belongs or check it. “Filling up” isn’t a good enough excuse to dump your bag up front. Say you’re at 22 and you put your bag at 8, then when 8 gets on board, they’re now having to put their bags behind you. How does that make any sense as it will just slow deplaning.
If you take the entitled perception that all of economy bins are of equal access, then what’s wrong with the first person on the plane putting their bag in 8 regardless of where they’re sitting? And what about those who have paid for priority seating? If you want to put your bag above, pay to sit in 8.
This past summer I did move a bag to the next bin behind mine but it was a little more extreme a situation than what you described. Two guys, dressed apparently for business were among the first few to board and while the bins were completely empty, they had both put their bags at the very front of the economy bins and were sitting about 10 rows back. I moved the bag one row back and put our stuff in. When those seat occupants got there, they weren’t very happy either as their bag ended up several rows behind them.
I’ve seen a bag removed also by someone but the owner, several rows behind, didn’t notice until an FA went searching for the owner of the unstowed bag. Don’t remember if it had to be checked or if they found room for it.
I don’t fully agree with this part:
“As long as it is not in a different cabin, I will always take the first space I can find rather than risk having to put my bag behind my seat.”
A better idea would be go back as far as you can see space available. Otherwise, you are being pretty selfish to the people in the front of the cabin who are boarding after you, sometimes not of their own volition (i.e. connecting off of a delayed flight), and now have to swim upstream to get their luggage after the flight.
Example: You are row 20, you place your bag above row 6. Someone in row 6 is 5 people behind you and now has to place his bag back at row 12. You could have put your bag in row 12, the person in row 6 would have put theirs above their seat, and everyone is happy. Instead, you took the first available spot rather than trying to see how far back you could go without risking losing bin space.
Precisely. I don’t fault others for doing this as I understand their reasoning, but to not see the controversy regarding this practice seems a bit obtuse.
Ben, I do what you suggest. Sorry that wasn’t clear. See comment above.
Your title is quite misleading! As Ryan notes, it is fine to turn a horizontal bag vertical to make it fit better or rearrange someone’s jacket.
I don’t think my title is misleading when put into the context of my post.
I would have phrased it as “remove”. I’m going to “move” people’s stuff in the bin all day long if doing so creates more useable bin space. I’ve seen all sorts of bin shenanigans including unfolded coats stretched lengthwise and roll aboards lengthwise. If something looks delicate, I might inquire if it belongs to someone and I’m certainly not crushing anything, but if you’ve got a small bag and a coat, that coat is going on top of that small bag if doing so means more bags will fit.
If the title needs context to make sense, then it’s called a click bait.
Worst behavior I ever experienced was a woman who had to put her bag in a bin in the back. She was seated in one of the front rows on JetBlue. She then swam upstream to get her bag. After retrieving it she insisted on getting back to her seat, while everyone was waiting to disembark, I presume so she would be in front when the door opened and disembarking began.
I think if you swim upstream, you then stay there unless you have a small kid to take care of.
Sorry, I will always rearrange luggage above my seat as I always sit in a seat with dedicated bin space (Premium Seating Comfort+, MCE, Business, First). I intend to protect my luggage contents. I do not abuse others’ luggage, but others attempt and do abuse mine.
People do such a shitty job of putting their bags in the overhead often I’ve had to readjust them to accommodate mine. I think this is fine and pulling out jackets and smaller bags that are NOT supposed to be up there is okay!
They should remove overhead bins. If it doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you, then check it. There should be a box for the people sitting in bulkhead rows to put their stuff.
That’s pretty selfish of you. Suppose you board earlier than me, and you stuff your bag in the bin above my seat, and then carry on back to your seat. Then I board, and there’s no space above my seat, and I have to stow my bag in your row, a few rows behind my seat. Now you don’t have to swim upstream or wait, but I do.
I tend to agree with you on a lot of things, but I think you’re being unreasonable here.
I think we agree but I wasn’t clear enough in my post.
Think about it, Matthew. If you are in row 22, and your bag is in row 28, you have far fewer people behind you to inconvenience by “swimming up stream” to get your bag, than the guy in row 8 who you have just screwed over. I stand by my earlier Jackass comment.
I think you need to get over yourself and your privilege. SHARED SPACE means SHARED. Your bags’s location in SHARED SPACE is not sacrosanct. When you SHARE things, like luggage space, it means that you have to compromise and be flexible. If your bag is so precious, there place it under your seat which us NOT SHARED SPACE.
This ignores the fact that the shared space is limited which means first come, first serve. Typically loyalty determines who’s first (minus tight connections which is an edge case).
Example: The space inside of a public bus this is a shared space, however, these buses have limited seating which means not everyone can sit. Therefore, seats come on a first come first serve basis. This also means some people have to stand. Which also means someone getting on the bus last and trying to kick someone out of their seat claiming “shared space” would not be acceptable.
Shall I extrapolate more into other examples?
I have a confession: I frequently put my carry-on luggage AND backpack up top.
A lot of United’s A319/320s and 737-8’s have overhead bins with a little “lip” in the middle of a set of 2 that prevents a bag from being placed across that gap (or the pneumatic arm reduces the height of the bin in that area). So though they are wide enough for 5 bags across you can only get 4 + room for 2 smaller bags that don’t cross that lip. If I’m on one of these aircraft my bag goes up there immediately.
If I’m on a 737-9 or similar where you can actually fit 3 full bags across one bin…I wait until boarding is complete but there is usually a bin within reach (+1 / -1 row) that has a small gap for my slim bag. And if I’m ever asked to move my bag explicitly I will do it. I even invite good karma by gate checking my bag if there is ever a passenger who is frantically searching for a final spot for theirs (once a guy with a tight connection and on crutches wanted to keep his backpack with him so I moved my carry-on for him since I wasn’t on any kind of schedule at my destination).
I don’t begrudge anyone in E- (or if you are like 6’3″ or taller) doing this – but frankly, since I think you are in E+, courtesy dictates that you shouldn’t, you never know what else can go up there
Any personal item at your feet, the moment you are in the air, you can pull it out and under your legs, and still stretch out in front of you.
IMO only hard bulkhead folks should put both in the OHB.
I agree that it isn’t courteous but I’ve been through enough flights to see how it plays out with the specific bin configurations I mentioned (where a carry-on won’t bridge the gap between the 2 connected bins) to know that somebody’s backpack is going to go up there eventually and it might as well be mine. I do not do this with overhead bins that drop down individually because those fit 3 full size bags across. I also mentioned elsewhere that I specifically avoid the first few rows of E+ – usually pick rows 14-21 if available – so I’m not interfering directly with the bulkhead rows.
If I pull my laptop bag out and place it up against my seat so my feet have more room, the bag protrudes like 1″ above the seat cushion so my legs get angled up and over the bag and it’s uncomfortable. It’s my own fault…I know I’m an ass…that why it was labeled a confession…
Physically remove a bag from a bin that isn’t yours? No. But re-arranging items to make your bag fit is reasonable IMO. Imbeciles who stuff things like small backpacks, coats, laptop bags, etc. in the bins are a more complicated issue. I suppose ask nicely once, but motion over an FA if they’re an a$$hat about it (the problem is, you usually end up slowing down boarding in the process). And yes, the people who hog bins with stuff that doesn’t belong in them usually are, unfortunately.
BTW, I’m going to roast you over one thing:
“As long as it is not in a different cabin, I will always take the first space I can find rather than risk having to put my bag behind my seat.”
That’s not OK. It’s one thing to find the first available bin in the general vicinity of your seat (i.e. an open bin in Row 12 when you’re sitting in Row 15), or to take the first available when the FAs announce that bins are filling up. But otherwise, all you’re really doing is contributing to the problem you’re complaining about in this post. As a poster above said, if you’re seated in Row 22, and you take the space in Row 8, guess what the poor sap in Row 8 is going to have to do? That’s right, swim upstream to store his or her bag. I hate to say it, but what you’re doing is using your privilege of priority boarding to make things more difficult for those without it.
Oops – never mind on the roasting. I see now that you’ve clarified what you meant.
I’m a frequent traveler, and based on my experience with airlines, I think that all air lines should be tougher with the weight and size of luggage that the passengers carry with them on board. Otherwise, the lack of respect and the high ego of many passagers, they don’t care about others, believing they the one and above all the others. Many of travelers when it comes about their belongs, they are not polite to others.
As a principle, I only carry with me a small bag that I always place under the front seat near my feet.
The worst of all most of the time it affects elderly people and women with children.
So I think its fair to move a bag within a bin (left-right, turning it) if its the only way to put your stuff in. I will not move a bag from one bin to the other without asking the owner if they mind. I don’t think its right to move a bag because you want the space its in for your stuff. I also think its ok to put your coat or other light article on top of someone else’s stuff as long as its clear your not going to be damaging it.
Nope, you’re wrong here, at least in part. First dibs goes to the person under the overhead. They get one spot for one normal sized item. If there’s space left after that, feel free to take the available spot. Otherwise they can check their bag, gate check, or put it under the seat in front of them. If some person brings two big bags on board, then it’s their problem, not mine.
As to touching somebody else’s bags, I try to avoid it unless they put their bag in in some awful way that keeps other people from accessing the compartment.
I agree with the post, especially after the clarifying comments.
A follow-up question, of sorts. What about circumstances where the flight attendant removes your bag and makes you put it under your seat? I assume there really is no recourse, but it doesn’t seem right.
Example: I was recently flying and purposely checked most of my luggage, such that I would only have to carry on a larger laptop bag. The flight attendant removed it, asked who’s bag it was, then “asked” if I could put it at my feet (and by asked, I mean he placed it at my feet). I did not make a fuss, but I was certainly dismayed since:
(1) I’m not short, and was uncomfortable for my (luckily relatively short 2 hr) flight
(2) I had the foresight to only bring one carry-on bag, but was punished for it
(3) I would not have been forced to move my bag if I had chosen to bring a personal item
I agree that you can’t take someone’s stuff out and just toss it on the aisle. However, it’s totally okay to move things around within that section.
Someone once put her and her husbands coat. I shoved those things in the corner to put my bag in. They gave me a dirty look, but I was like “hey, this is a free for all. If you are concerned how others will treat your stuff, don’t put your stuff in there.”
I agree completely! But my question is about the person in the back of the aircraft that pops their bag in the front overhead so they can hustle off the plane upon landing. Seems unfair. If we have loading by section, we should also have overhead storage by section. Unfair that the last guy “allowed” to board gets screwed. Maybe the system needs to be fixed?
“I’m of the opinion that it is never appropriate to move someone else’s bag. Overhead bin space is claimed on a first-come, first-served basis”UNLESS you are sitting on business class and there is an overhead bin right above your seat with your seat number on it. I recently flew AA business class internationally and as soon as I got to my seat I noticed the overhead bin with my seat number right above my seat had luggage on it. I immediately asked the passengers around me and guess what? The guy seating behind me had brought way too much luggage on board and he filled his bin and mine. No f……g way!!! I politely told him to find another way to store his stuff since that was the bin with my seat number and I had the right to store my stuff. Enough said, he did not have a happy face but he did not say a word and squeezed his stuff into his bin.
I agree with the “don’t touch what is not yours” rule completely – I you touch it and break it, you are responsible. Somebody moved stuff around aggressively and pushed my (thin & light) backpack out of the bin – I was watching her and caught it mid-flight – my laptop and camera would have been broken…
It’s common sense to ask “may I move this item” before you do – it takes no time or effort…
I fly a lot internationally and this is mostly a problem on US airlines that don’t enforce carry-on limits relative to the plane capacity. For example, most laptop/office bags sold in the US are bigger than the personal item measures allowed, many end up in the overhead bins…
Most foreign carriers have much stricter carry-on limits and enforce them, including number, size and weight of items and guess what? Overhead bin space is less of a problem, boarding is smoother…
Before Krispy Creme donuts became quite so ubiquitous, it was quite common to see more than a few passengers with large boxes of them, presumably en route to some place without a store. Inevitably those large boxes went in the overhead bins, seriously limiting space for bags. I should imagine that more than a few became a mushy albeit colourful mess in the process.
Fortunately common sense prevails when it comes to overhead space: and particularly so now that airlines make more than a token effort to control what passengers take onboard.
I like to board last, so have to accept that I won’t get much space ( and consequently only take tiny hand carry if I have a checked bag).
I’m by nature nonconfrontational. That being said, while I would swallow it I do believe that when you pay for or are assigned a specific seat it includes a portion of the space directly above it and only there. You can negotiate with the people with whom you are sharing the space. If you take space farther forward just because you feel like it you are an entitled snowflake animal.
I didn’t see the rule about “when you pay for or are assigned a specific seat it includes a portion of the space directly above it and only there.” Can you cite it for me, perhaps on an airline website?
I’m a flight attendant for a major US carrier and this is absolutely untrue. OVERHEAD BINS ARE SHARED SPACE. There’s no entitlement with your ticket purchase, hence “group 9” fliers who can board with a small personal item ONLY as part of their heavily reduced ticket price.
I agree with the writer that rearranging items in the bin is ok but removing someone else’s bag is forbidden.
One more thought….MAKE SURE THE BIN WILL CLOSE WHEN YOU PUT YOUR BAG IN! When I come thru to close bins and your bag is sticking out I’m going to have you remove it so save everyone the hassle and make sure it will close.
Is it okay to move the angle of the bag? For instance in the picture you put for this article, the left shows the bags lengthwise and the right on their side.
I believe it is okay to rearrange people’s bags to create more space. If the person failed to arrange their things properly, then others should be allowed to do so.
I’d agree with that. I’m just against pulling someone’s bag out, even if they selfishly brought on a big carry-on bag that only fits on its side. Leave it for FAs to deal with.
Reminds me of a few years ago:
I boarded early and sat near the front of economy. A well dressed businessman comes up with his rollerbag and stops in front of me, puts his bag in the overheard bin, and then walks all the way to the back. I was stunned. Didn’t know what to say or do.
Its become a nightmare. Ive seen people traveling with somehow 4 bags fill up 2 compartments themselves! Nowadays I always have to put my single bag at my feet since no cabins are ever left open when I arrive on the plane, while others have an entire collections of bags taking everyone’s space. I’ve even seen people take out my jacket and move it several rows behind me forcing me to stop the entire plane on departing the cabin to ensure my jacket wasnt stolen. There are even races to line up now so you can steal space. Its gotten ridiculous and needs to be fixed asap.
I move others’ bags if they are carelessly placed in the bin. This include rotating the bag from lengthwise to wheel towards the back. I also scoot their bag a few inches one way. I don’t completely remove bags from the bin, even temporarily.
I saw a woman push her way back to get her bag. Ok. But then she tried to push her way forward about 10 rows. No, you must wait back there where you got the bag. She didn’t have a tight connection because the flight arrived early.
How about you only use the cabin space above your seat? Just because you bought a cheap ticket all the way in the back of the plane doesn’t mean you should inconvenience another passenger’s bin space. Keep it simple. Oh and while we’re at it, unless you can see a few seats ahead of you start to walk down the aisle, can you stay seated in your seats until it’s your turn to exit? Stay calm and move in an orderly fashion people!
Flight attendant here. Thanks for this discussion. I agree and recommend a lot of the stuff you said. It makes the boarding process and my job easier. The bins do NOT belong to a specific seat, it’s shared space for many reasons. Among those reasons: 1.bulkhead passengers must put everything up so that immediately throws out the alignment. 2. Crews stow a suitcase, and a work bag further throwing off the alignment 3. Some planes (md 80s for instance) curve at the end so the last bin doesn’t accomodate lengthwise bags. That’s about 15 to 20 “personal spaces” already gone. It is wise to take the first available space if you are boarding close to the end because odds are, “your spot” (snicker) is gone. The plan is to get 150 people boarded in 30 minutes for an on time domestic departure. If you are in the first few groups, of course, do your best to get close to your spot. Towards the end, take what you can get so we can keep it moving. In regards to moving other people’s stuff, if it needs shifting because they packed it poorly, that’s fine. Moving it t another bin is touchy, and flat out taking it down is awful and wrong.
All the comments above serve only to confuse the issue rather than clarify. What a stupid state of affairs when even experts and frequent flyers can’t agree on proper etiquette. Meaning anything goes on board.
There’s rules and then there’s etiquette. By rule, space is first come first serve and you are not specifically entitled to any particular overhead space; however, it should reasonably be assumed that all passengers have the standard carry-on size luggage and will want to stow it overhead. It’s inappropriate for passengers to use more than what can reasonably be considered their share. It’s inappropriate for passengers to use space any further from their seat than absolutely necessary. They should make every effort to stow there items immediately above their seat. I believe it is appropriate to rearrange luggage gently and respectfully in order to stow your own bags. It is not appropriate to treat others baggage with any less care and respect than you would handle your own. I believe it is fully appropriate for flight attendants to remove baggage that exceeds the general allotment per passenger or stop a passenger from stowing excessive items. The technical maximum baggage allowance for carry-on is assuming some of the items will be stored at your feet. Being seated early does not give you the right to store back pack, satchel, suit bag, carry-on luggage and neck pillow all overhead. What I think the etiquette all comes down to is that it is shared space and it is inappropriate to treat others’ right to that space as less than your own, and to not treat others’ luggage in a way you would disapprove of your own luggage being handled. I’ve been on any number of flights where the flight is delayed because they have to put some of the carry-on luggage underneath, while certain passengers have far exceeded both the customary amount of overhead baggage and the airline rules regarding size and number of carry-on articles. This is frustrating and inconsiderate for everyone on the plane. So I don’t agree with the author’s statement that you should *never* touch another passenger’s luggage, but you should not remove it and you should treat it respectfully. I also disagree that etiquette is you can stash your stuff anywhere… It’s poor form. It’s not against any rule, but it is inconsiderate if space is available closer to your seat. I agree that the seat numbers do not correspond strictly to a baggage space, but etiquette should dictate that you use that position when available and try not to exceed your share at least until after everyone has boarded.
Etiquette or consideration sometimes gets thrown out by other people. Even in business class. There were plenty of room in the overhead bins, but because one lady had multiple items, her man decided to shove my bag further down. It was still within reach, I said nothing. Then another person boarded and she wasn’t even in business class, but her friend was. She shoved my bag further down more behind me and place her bag there and moved to economy. I got a little angry, shoved her bag to where she shoved mine and placed my bag as close to my chair as possible. I’m short. I needed to step on my chair to fix this. I’m sure the stewardess was amused. I’m Asian, but I swear they might have been Chinese. Feeling privileged Chinese.
I don’t know how much traveling you do to Asia. I’m married to an Asian woman, so it’s not like I have an inherent distaste for them. She has a good sized family and they are mine.
However, on the whole, far too many seem to have no regard for the rules regarding luggage. They bring way more than they’re supposed to, then do whatever they want to try to “play dumb” to get what they want. There is no sense of etiquette, and the idea of waiting on line seems an alien idea to them.
Yes, I believe in live & let live and be kind, but they push the boundaries of that to the point where I quietly fantasize about waiting until the plane is dark, and when he takes that lonely trip to the lavatory, I slip my right shoelace around his neck and choke the life of of him, enjoying the struggle until he goes limp. I walk back to my seat smiling.
No, I won’t do that. Do I want to? No, I don’t actually, but the knowledge that I know that I can is enough to ease the annoyance.
Here is what I have noticed and have an issue with. I usually pay the premium for the extra leg room in the middle of the plane. The overhead bins for these seats get filled up quickly by passengers located in the rear of the plane start filling the overhead bins as they see empty spaces are they go by before they even find out if there is spaces by their section of the plane. This causes empty overheads in the rear of the plane and full overheads mid-plane, if I need a space then my bag goes to the rear of the plane, when we land I have to wait for everyone to leave the plane before I can walk towards the rear of the plane to retrieve my bag. Why don’t they load the middle of the plane before the rear of the plane to ensure the passengers that paid the premium don’t have their overhead bin taken by passengers loaded in the rear of the plane?
Assigned bins. Too many lazy people who overcrowd the bins.