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Refusing to handle other people's luggage in the overhead bin?

Refusing to handle other people's luggage in the overhead bin?

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Old Jul 31, 18, 9:26 pm
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Refusing to handle other people's luggage in the overhead bin?

Upon gate arrival, while I'm standing in the aisle waiting to deplane, a passenger in front of me asks whether I can grab her bag from the overhead bin.

I say sure. She points to a normal-sized rollaboard a couple of rows behind me. Why not ask the people sitting in that row to get your bag? I thought. Whatever. Using one hand, I reach behind my shoulder, grab the handle, and expect the bag to slide out easily. Turns out the bag is incredibly heavy (no carry-on weight limits on domestic US flights) and I am knocked off balance. My shoulder muscles are strained. "Jesus Christ!" I exclaim reflexively.

"Watch out, it's heavy," the passenger says. No kidding? Is this the type of person to signal a lane change after changing langes?

I then use two hands, grab the bag, and set it down in the aisle. She says thanks, I smile and nod, and proceed to hate myself.

How can I decline to retrieve other people's bags in the future without coming off impolite?
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Old Jul 31, 18, 9:51 pm
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Simple, I just say "Sorry, I have bad back." which I do. That does not mean I can not pick up heavy items - it politely means I will not pick up someone else's heavy items.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Simple, I just say "Sorry, I have bad back." which I do. That does not mean I can not pick up heavy items - it politely means I will not pick up someone else's heavy items.
Sure, but is this viable to say after the other person has observed you picking up your own item from the overhead?
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Old Jul 31, 18, 10:49 pm
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They ask you whether you can, you tell them you can't, life goes on. You don't owe them an explanation or anything.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 12:42 am
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Originally Posted by milski View Post
They ask you whether you can, you tell them you can't, life goes on. You don't owe them an explanation or anything.
This. Too often people think they can't just say "no" and they have to offer an excuse to go with the "no". But this isn't so. I kind of blame this all on that political correctness 'stuff', whereby no one is ever allowed to be offended - by anything, anytime, anywhere, anyhow.

"Can you grab my bag?" "Sorry, no."

"Can you change seats?" "Sorry, no."

"Can I swap my ham sandwich for your gold-leaf topped caviar blinis?" "Sorry, no."

It's not rude to say "no", so drop the fear-of-offending 'stuff' that has you scrambling for an excuse. But you could always give a smile.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 12:47 am
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Then why say Sorry? You have nothing to apologize for.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by milski View Post
They ask you whether you can, you tell them you can't, life goes on. You don't owe them an explanation or anything.
While I understand this perspective, I'm hesitant to omit any elaboration, even if it's vacuous. It's a social lubricant.

If someone is invited to a party and responds with a plain "no," I think we would all find that very strange at best, and downright rude at worst. This does not implore the invitee to say yes -- rather, the invitee should at least provide a superficial pleasantry such as "I hope you all have fun, I'm unfortunately not going to be able to make it."

Substantively, that's a long winded no. But it goes over easier and I think many people appreciate that.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
Then why say Sorry? You have nothing to apologize for.
Maybe they’re Canadian?
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Old Aug 1, 18, 2:54 am
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I've read a few threads where people - mostly men - have been asked to retrieve a case from an overhead locker by a women. I think it must be harder for women to lift weight above their heads. It's not a good look on a women either :-)

My husband always stows the luggage in the overheads but if I had to do it myself sometime I would probably ask the FA or consider putting it into that place where they put the suitcases (can't remember what it's called!!)
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Old Aug 1, 18, 2:58 am
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What if you get their bags and then they start screaming that you stole their ipad in the front pocket?
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Old Aug 1, 18, 3:08 am
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Touch it and anything happens to you or their stuff it is your fault,

I like the other posters pretty much avoid helping except for the old or the height challenged, but isn't that why the FA are there for too?

You look under 65 you lug and move what you packed.

I've actually had the FA multiple times ask me as they were too short or feeble. For them I've broken down for goodwill, sad some of them exceed my age limit for help any many were height challenged too to not be capable to do this very simple but important task, sad never happens on the Asian carriers, LOL
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Old Aug 1, 18, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
Then why say Sorry? You have nothing to apologize for.
The Inflection font isn't working.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
While I understand this perspective, I'm hesitant to omit any elaboration, even if it's vacuous. It's a social lubricant.
You're unlikely to see that person ever again, so stop worrying about what others will think of you
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Old Aug 1, 18, 4:41 am
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I usually stay seated until my row is exiting an this is one reason why. I also wrestle with helping people with their overhead storage as it's usually people too lazy or too cheap to check their bags that need the most help. The airlines are obviously enabling this behavior.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 6:06 am
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As I 6ft 4' ,17 stone man (110 kg) I regularly get called in to do the heavy lifting on flights by vertically challenged or slight passengers. I can't really refuse as I am a) British b) a nice guy c) my own wife is just 5ft tall and so know the frustration se has when people won't help her.The assumption of all those around the plane in uniform and civilians is, the big guy will help. Why ? we are the lighthouses of society I am always asked for directions where ever I am in the world.
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