Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Carry-on luggage culture has become annoying

Carry-on luggage culture has become annoying

Old Oct 28, 19, 9:35 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Global Entry
Posts: 549
Carry-on luggage culture has become annoying

Why is it that people with a slightly larger, check-in bag, are penalized so much by the airlines? The pricing difference is often free vs $50-$60 RT. You have to wait in long lines at check-in. You have to wait to get your luggage at baggage pickup. You are waiting longer to get off of the plane for all of the people with free carry-ons to get their stuff together.

Am I really that much of a financial burden when my 35 lb suitcase needs to go on the plane? (Meanwhile, some people are easily packing on more in additional body weight than that) I'm not here to create another argument about how all of my interests should be "free," but if I have to pay, why is their crammed to the max bag backpack and carry-on free of charge? Don't get me wrong, I understand the allure of a luggage that has less chance of getting lost, and a few of the other things. Are they spending some astronomical amount of labor to transport the bags from the counter, to the plane?

It's not like I'm trying to bring excessive amounts of luggage with me. If I am going on a 7 day trip, I like to be able to bring a nice bottle with me, few pairs of shoes, snorkel equipment, etc. However, I find myself using the carry-on more and more now. There, you've went from an extra $50-$60 from me, to $0. Is this what you were hoping for?
Super Mario is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 3:50 am
  #2  
stc
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Newton Centre, MA, USA
Programs: DL 2MM Gold, AA Plat Pro; Hilton Lifetime Diamond, Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium (via SPG), IHG Plat
Posts: 2,156
The real problem is USA airlines with their race to the bottom in terms of trying to make service as minimal as possible while extracting as much money as possible. One or two checked bags should be free again and this problem would totally go away. I just flew two domestic jet flights on Air New Zealand and it was refreshing since everyone got a free checked bag. Boarding was quick and there was room in the overheads for EVERYTHING people actually wanted to carry onboard.
enviroian, mlbcard, htb and 4 others like this.
stc is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 4:04 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2021), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 8,382
I know that the price airlines charge for things is related to what people will pay, rather than the cost of provision. However, I'd love to find out how much checked baggage handling actually costs, both on an average (per flight) basis, and on a marginal (per extra bag) basis.

Having everyone carrying suitcases plus extra bags significantly delays boarding and slightly delays getting off. That means that the plane is an expensive asset just sitting on the ground. US airlines take 45 minutes to board a 737, whereas efficient operators (who don't allow excessive hand luggage, such as Ryanair) can do it in 20. Including deplaning, that means that, for each turn, Ryanair gets 30 minutes extra useage from it's planes. Over a day, that's easily an extra flight.

It would seem sensible to me to turn it on its head - allow a free checked bag, but charge for anything more than a briefcase on the plane. Have faster turns and you still get your extra revenue.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 6:41 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: London
Programs: US Gold
Posts: 602
I actually think (as a carry-on only person by nature) that it would make more sense for the airlines to charge for carry-on suitcases and make hold baggage free. Would encourage people who had the time and inclination to check things.

I realize it would mean the airlines pissing off their frequent flyers and business customers, though...

wg
writerguyfl, the810 and Thysk like this.
wendyg is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 7:00 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold / OW Emerald
Posts: 713
Originally Posted by wendyg View Post
I actually think (as a carry-on only person by nature) that it would make more sense for the airlines to charge for carry-on suitcases and make hold baggage free. Would encourage people who had the time and inclination to check things.

I realize it would mean the airlines pissing off their frequent flyers and business customers, though...

wg
Unless this made turn-arounds much faster, it wouldn't be a good deal to the airline, who pay for baggage processing but not for carry-ons.
thebigben is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 7:33 am
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,857
1. Air carrier on-time performance on domestic hops is doing just fine.
2. Passengers book to cheaper fares. Just look at BE. This is not about any "race to the bottom," but rather about consumer demand.
3. Fewer and fewer passengers need to check bags.

The one missing piece here is that domestic legacy carriers are still gate-checking non-compliant bags without a fee. This leaves the suckers paying for their checked bag while the savvier people lug the bag to the gate and check it there. While this does not work for very large bags, it works just fine for the routine over-sized bag.

Carriers should, of course, check compliant bags without a fee when the OH's are full. But, non-compliant bags should be charged the bag fee + a gate penalty with no waivers for elites or class of service. Easily processed at the baggage office on arrival, rather than the gate.
saffy66 likes this.
Often1 is online now  
Old Oct 29, 19, 9:00 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 56
Other reasons besides speed.

In addition to not having to wait to check in your bags and wait to pick up your bags....there is the ever present and common risk of loss and theft/rifling. From my experience, outright loss is much rarer today, however rifling and theft are still quite common.
Spiff, pudgym29 and 84fiero like this.
Nhilar is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 11:43 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 16,243
The fundamental flaw in the OP's argument is that price of a service or commodity has nothing to do with actual cost to offer that service. It's what the customers will pay, and the airlines have this down pat. They could try to charge $1,000 per bag if they wanted to, but people would pack lighter or ship it. If they priced it at $0, they'd be losing a revenue stream. The current rice is what they've found the market will accept.

I've long suspected that the only reason UA (for example) will check an oversize bag for free at the gate is either 1) they don't have the systems in place to bill at that point, or 2) they've figured out what it would cost to staff a gate to both take bag fees and still get the plane out on time.

It's all about the income vs. the expense and there are experts who figure out this stuff.
milepig is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 12:37 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2021), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 8,382
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Air carrier on-time performance on domestic hops is doing just fine.
It has little to do with on-time performance but everything to do with aircraft utilisation. The US carriers take much much longer to board a plane, so have to start boarding much earlier. That wasted time could be spent on another flight per day.
strickerj likes this.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 12:39 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2021), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 8,382
Originally Posted by wendyg View Post

I realize it would mean the airlines pissing off their frequent flyers and business customers, though...

wg
I would imagine that this could be another point of fare differentiation - business class fares would include extra carry-on bags.
nancypants likes this.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 5:55 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Global Entry
Posts: 549
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
3. Fewer and fewer passengers need to check bags.
Is it because of the times with that people no longer need to bring stuff, or is it because they are finding ways to get it all for free through a backpack and carry-on?
strickerj likes this.
Super Mario is offline  
Old Oct 29, 19, 8:18 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,618
Originally Posted by wendyg View Post
I realize it would mean the airlines pissing off their frequent flyers and business customers, though...
It would force the traveller to become more efficient rather than kidding themselves they saved time by not checking a bag.

It would also increase boarding time with the drawbacks already mentioned.
ft101 is offline  
Old Oct 30, 19, 5:14 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,160
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Air carrier on-time performance on domestic hops is doing just fine.
But how padded are the schedules??

FWIW, JetBlue is trialing a $5 fee for checking a carry-on sized bag at the counter so you don't have to schlep it through security and to the gate. Cheaper than the full sized check bag fee but still not the same free as it would be checking at the gate.

And, stricter carry-on rules translate to faster turn times, but the US carriers are generally over 10 hours per aircraft anyways, even with the slow loads. Some of that is balanced by the long-haul ops, but the US carriers aren't really trailing FR/U2 or other U/LCCs on utilization that much, if at all.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Oct 30, 19, 9:08 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,618
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
. . . . but the US carriers aren't really trailing FR/U2 or other U/LCCs on utilization that much, if at all.
The 45 minute time betweeen one flight arrival and the next departing mentioned above would indicate otherwise.
ft101 is offline  
Old Oct 31, 19, 8:44 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boulder
Programs: AA Plat, CX Silver
Posts: 2,347
Originally Posted by stc View Post
The real problem is USA airlines with their race to the bottom in terms of trying to make service as minimal as possible while extracting as much money as possible. One or two checked bags should be free again and this problem would totally go away. I just flew two domestic jet flights on Air New Zealand and it was refreshing since everyone got a free checked bag. Boarding was quick and there was room in the overheads for EVERYTHING people actually wanted to carry onboard.
Air New Zealand domestic fares don't come with checked bags. It looks that way if you book at airnewzealand.com but their domestic site sells fares with no checked bag.

Their international site hides those fares and only shows more expensive fares which include a checked bag.
Mwenenzi, farci and nancypants like this.
txflyer77 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: