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To Carry-on or Not to Carry-on, That is the Question

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Luggage compartments of an Airbus aircraft Photo Credit Mattes Luggage compartments of an Airbus aircraft Photo Credit Mattes

The recent media storm which has been created by those airlines who wish to charge for carry-on baggage has been an interesting one, as another airline joins this trend can we expect this to become the norm?

Those frequent fliers out there will have noticed the battle of the carry-on, that is to say watching flight attendants scurrying up and down aircraft trying to locate an inch or two of space for someone who seems to have brought their whole wardrobe and supplies with them on-board; overhead bins bursting at the seams as bag after bag is squeezed into the space; and don’t even mention when it is time to open the bin at your destination, crash helmet recommended!

So do these airlines have it right, is the recommendation of a fee for oversized carry-on baggage a good idea?  Or are those airlines who are now responding to Passenger demand to increase carry-on luggage allowance for no extra charge the trend setters?

Spirit Airlines who operate a  "Bring Less, Pay Less" bag program said “Spirit's customers have reduced the amount of baggage, saved money and helped the company conserve the equivalent of nearly six million gallons of fuel in the last year alone compared to the rate of consumption before the introduction of the program.”

Wizz Air who also introduced this policy said “Passengers on all airlines are currently subject to delays, offloading of cabin bags and inconvenience due to the lack of space caused by too many large bags. During a successful trial on Wizz Air’s London-Katowice route   from the beginning of August, the onboard environment on the test route clearly improved with passengers bringing 20% fewer large bags into the cabin. This innovation resulted in a better onboard experience, helped in maintaining Wizz Air’s on-time performance and overall contributed to increased efficiencies.”

They sound like very good reasons to introduce these policies but it is not so long ago that airlines were very strict on their carry-on luggage allowances, each check-in desk equipped with a measuring gauge to ensure no-one brought too much and  if they did, off to the cargo hold! 

So is it a relaxation of airlines policy or the increased expectation of the general public which has now led to this carry on at the check in desk?

Monarch Airlines has taken a completely different view in response to customer feedback.  They will now allow all passengers to carry two items of hand baggage on its flights, with size and weight restrictions.  “Passengers have told us how important it is for them to be allowed two items and, working with our airport partners, we have been able to change our policy to suit them.”

Whatever your view, changes are always happening, you are either going to love them or hate them but if you fly you have to be able to live with them or find alternative means of transport.

For now I am off to plan how I can fit my carry-on luggage in a bag the size of a lunch box which will fit neatly beneath the seat in front of me, just in case the carry-on luggage fees win the battle!

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1 comment

  • Illo A Neri

    I had the pleasure of flying through London Luton a couple of weeks ago. There, they strictly, and I mean no holds barred, enforced the one carry on item only policy. A lady had her purse (and a small one at that) on top of her carry on luggage. They stopped her, and told her the purse must go inside the carry on luggage, or she needs to choose which to check.

    Before the convenience nazi's start slamming me - I travel economy as I am not a frequent flier. Normally, I tend to get a seat in the very back, so I have to wait for people to pull down all their crap before disembarking.

    Let me tell you - loading and unloading the flight from Luton to Berlin had to be the fastest, smoothest and least frustrating experience ever. Not only were the overhead bins sufficient, there was room left over. People got on board and seated quickly, and off just as fast.

    I have dealt with all kinds of travellers, and I am one of those who supports the less cabin luggage idea. I refuse to believe anything in this world is so urgent that one can't check a bag, or needs to bring three on board simply because they think they are that special.

    Shields up - flak vest on - fire at will.

    Illo A Neri Comment Link
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