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-   -   Dear United: Start enforcing friggin carry-on bag limits! (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileage-plus-pre-merger/1310399-dear-united-start-enforcing-friggin-carry-bag-limits.html)

broms Feb 4, 12 10:47 am


Originally Posted by as219 (Post 17951089)
... To a large extent, it seems to me, priority boarding solves this problem. Board early, get more space; board later, gate check your bag(s). I don't like this system, mind you, but it is what it is.

That said, I agree that people shouldn't be allowed to do so. One carry-on that can fit width-wise in the overhead, a personal item or two that can fit under the seat, and anything else has to be gate checked.

It doesn't help when you can buy this "privilege" for near-pennies on some flights, or receive it for free with every other credit card out there these days.

In short, we have
  • A proliferation of over-size carry-on bags
  • High fees that people will do anything to avoid (including wearing multiple layers of clothing to fly)
  • Lack of space on the planes
  • Policy abusive FA/FC pax who make it seem like its "ok"
  • Ease of gaining "priority boarding" privileges, either through credit cards, easy purchase, or plain-ole' DYKWIA
  • Gate agents that do not follow correct boarding procedures
  • A swarm of less-than-frequent travelers who couldn't give a darn about consideration for others, because they are not going to pay more than their $250 trans-con Orbitz ticket and the airlines are "unfair and unjust"

Believe me, it stems beyond much more than "buy a smaller carry-on" bag.

mbluecpa Feb 4, 12 10:50 am


Originally Posted by chollie (Post 17951118)
Some of the worst abusers are elite pax and FC pax (not to mention the occasional FAs who take up an entire FC bin).

...

AS has tried to address the first problem by guaranteeing 20-minute baggage delivery

I usually find it difficult to find overhead space for a standard rolling bag in FC unless boarding at the first call. Unless it's the only option, this is another reason I avoid the bulkhead.

I'm more prone to check on Alaska given the guarantee, though a slight tradeoff is no priority delivery for elites Their F cabins also seem to have full-size overheads all the way to the front, i.e. a standard rolling bag can fit lengthwise above row 1 (where bins, by the way, are labeled as reserved for row 1) instead of having to go sideways.

FrankTalk Feb 4, 12 10:55 am

I would like to point out that some of us do pay checked bag fees. But when I'm paying to get rid of most of my luggage I expect to be able to stow away my backpack with the stuff I won't be able to check in (camera, laptop, etc). It's not like I won't be able to gate-check it but I don't want to otherwise it would be in my checked bag. My camera is half glass after all. FA's can't care less most of the time which I understand somewhat, given the situation with every single boarding, but still...

Traveling in Europe is such a bliss compared to this, except during winters when every idiot tries to stuff their enormous coats overhead...

RockinRon Feb 4, 12 11:02 am

Two great examples from one flight this week.

1 - Passenger 4 rows behind me stowed his monster bag in the overhead storage where I was to sit (19K on a 767) so bulkhead seat. Consumed the entire space except for a small sliver of room. I couldn't fit my laptop backpack in there it was that tight. I let it slide and just stowed my backpack over the certer row 2 seats back. Not convenient, but I wasn't going to track him down and ask WTH he was thinking.

2 - Passenger behind me has his bag stowed overhead and FA asks if he can move it which the passenger declines. FA explains tight overhead space, etc. Passenger says he prefers his bag stay over his head. FA finally says we can take a delayed departure while we gate check bags or the FA can move passenger's bag a few rows back. Passenger finally agrees and we have an on-time departure.

The bag check policy has got to be one of the more contentious issue and I'd hate to be a FA.

UA-NYC Feb 4, 12 11:03 am

IMO the problem often isn't carryons bigger than 45 linear inches - it's that people can't be bothered to put their 2nd bag in the underseat storage in front of them. Your laptop bag / backpack will fit just find there, and you can even move it behind your legs once you take off to get your full legroom back

chollie Feb 4, 12 11:09 am

It's important to remember that not all folks in 'Y' are 'Kettles' trying to avoid baggage charges, either.

Plenty of them are 'entitled' elite flyers who didn't get the upgrade (some pretty long waitlists out there these days!), as well as those who don't pay bag fees because of CC benefits, etc.

I think there's going to be big kickback for any airline that tries to uniformly apply strict baggage rules. Plenty of elite flyers are going to kick back when they are forced to check a well-travelled expensive bag because it doesn't fit in the sizer - and when they realize they now have to buy a new, appropriately sized bag. I don't think any airline relishes taking that fight on.

Since the elite flyers are the ones who complain the loudest and longest, it would seem to me that it would make more sense for the airlines to ask why these elite flyers persist in carrying on bags instead of checking them. Address those problems - timely, reliable delivery of bags and security of bags - and I think you will also see more (not all, but some) people willing to pay to check a bag.

Even if I weren't an elite, I would never check anything I can carry-on during the outbound leg of a trip that entails travel on arrival. I do NOT want to arrive and find my bag has been delayed or rifled - I am often in a situation where there's no practical way for the airline to catch up to me and deliver my bag. Under those circumstances, I'd even pay to carry my bag on, just so I would be sure it arrived with me and my trip wouldn't be ruined.

broms Feb 4, 12 11:09 am


Originally Posted by UA-NYC (Post 17951341)
IMO the problem often isn't carryons bigger than 45 linear inches - it's that people can't be bothered to put their 2nd bag in the underseat storage in front of them. Your laptop bag / backpack will fit just find there, and you can even move it behind your legs once you take off to get your full legroom back

That would be too much to ask. People need to have ALL that room for their legs, and how dare you suggest otherwise!

/sarcasm off

lhrsfo Feb 4, 12 11:16 am

I always check my bag, just carrying on an oversized briefcase which has laptop and other electronics, chargers and items I need to use on board (books, headphones, travel pillow, sweater etc.). The whole ting is half the size of others' "carry on" bags. I hugely resent not having overhead bin space for it when the bins are full, even in First, with others' multiple huge bags. I don't accept that I should have to put it under the seat in front, and kill my legroom, when others have caused the problem. And I hugely resent having to participate in the boarding scrum, just to get overhead space.

+1 to the joys of travelling in Europe. +1 to "fining" those with outsize carry ons: I would go further and introduce a strict one bag limit and enforce it strictly.

flyer215 Feb 4, 12 11:17 am


Originally Posted by chollie (Post 17951118)
Why do people keep focusing on the 'Kettles' and the 'Y' pax and the baggage fees?

Some of the worst abusers are elite pax and FC pax (not to mention the occasional FAs who take up an entire FC bin).

Because FC isn't the problem, as the bin space / passenger is MUCH higher.

In Y, the pitch is lower and you have 3 seats (in a 757 / 737, say), in FC you've got only 2 seats at greater pitch.

Elite pax riding in Y could be a different story.

jamesdenver Feb 4, 12 11:19 am

Question: Is it right to shift someone's oversize bag from lengthwise to "wheels out" position, knowing full well the bin won't close and it will have to be removed after others use the remaining space with their "wheels out" positioned bags.

Or is that just being passive aggressive?

Just curious. I'm asking for a friend. Really.

Cantheplanegofaster? Feb 4, 12 11:25 am


Originally Posted by broms (Post 17951382)
That would be too much to ask. People need to have ALL that room for their legs, and how dare you suggest otherwise!

/sarcasm off

I can only surmise that you don't fly 13-15 hour flights. In my case my legs won't fit with something under the seat in front of me unless I were to turn my legs sideways in front of pax besides me......


Originally Posted by jamesdenver (Post 17951447)
Question: Is it right to shift someone's oversize bag from lengthwise to "wheels out" position, knowing full well the bin won't close and it will have to be removed after others use the remaining space with their "wheels out" positioned bags.

Or is that just being passive aggressive?

Just curious. I'm asking for a friend. Really.

Put your bag in the bin, take a seat, and let the FAs sort it out;)

Ive gotten tired of dealing with the whole thing so I just check my bags now. If I have a meeting that absolutely requires work outfit upon arrival I carry small backpack with my laptop and one day of clothes.

If I am heading home, EVERYTHING gets checked now. Makes life much easier and I get to sit back and what the festivities and shake my head:D

broms Feb 4, 12 11:40 am


Originally Posted by Cantheplanegofaster? (Post 17951473)
I can only surmise that you don't fly 13-15 hour flights. In my case my legs won't fit with something under the seat in front of me unless I were to turn my legs sideways in front of pax besides me......

I fly plenty of these. IAD-DXB r/t at least 7 times a year, at least 50% of the time in Y. JFK-HKG several times as well, although that's a CX flight and doesn't really apply to the UA grief we're describing here. I'm 6'1 - not the tallest, I know, however not really short either.

While I can't speak for everyone, if I'm flying somewhere on a long-haul like that, I pack accordingly. I also don't like to trek a whole load of stuff through the airport, so I'm bringing laptop and essentials - iPad, small personal amenity kit (toothbrush, mouthwash), etc. Books now fit on iPads. Music now fits on iPad. No need for multiple devices, thus the bag that I "carry-on" and ALSO have to carry around the airport is small and comfortable. Everything else gets checked, unless there's an unusually light-load then its in the carry-on. Even THIS strategy borders on hypocrisy.

I maintain the same strategy if I'm flying somewhere "popular" - like a 9am IAD-SFO flight. Minor essentials on the plane, then check the bag. My philosophy is that if my luggage is lost, there's enough traffic coming into SFO that I'll get my bag back in decent time. If it's somewhere "remote", such as my trip to GEG next week, where there's not a lot of traffic, again I pack accordingly. My carry-on bag may "upgrade" to a bookbag, and includes a change of clothing, IN case something happens.

I'm not like everyone else, as I'll welcome an opportunity to negotiate with UA and get some e-certs or something out of it. I understand that mistakes happen, and the statistics of lost bags are so small I cannot justify inconveniencing other passengers on the plane, lugging stuff around the airport just so I can get out of my destination airport 20 minutes earlier, or dealing with the stress of having to stow and retrieve my bag. I like to board the plane last, slip my bag under my feet, deal with the legroom "problem" for 15 minutes, then tuck it behind my legs until we're descending.

Before anyone fires back with "oh you've never lost a bag" or "oh you've never had to wait hours for your luggage", the answer is yes, I have. I've flown enough over the years to experience all these things. How many times have I experienced them? One or two, in my lifetime. That's about statistically correct. Is it enough to make me never want to check again, and deal with all the issues that surround my bag, other pax, space limitations, stress leading to complaint posts on FlyerTalk, etc.? No thanks.

One of the benefits of even the lowest elite status is free checked baggage. I'll take it.

chollie Feb 4, 12 11:46 am


Originally Posted by flyer215 (Post 17951436)
Because FC isn't the problem, as the bin space / passenger is MUCH higher.

In Y, the pitch is lower and you have 3 seats (in a 757 / 737, say), in FC you've got only 2 seats at greater pitch.

Elite pax riding in Y could be a different story.

I usually travel with a small roll-aboard (fits in sizer) and a small backpack (no laptop, it's a small book-bag size backpack).

On moderately-full to full flights, I try to board near the front because I prefer bulkhead F. Front bins are often occupied by emergency equipment and/or crew bags, and I rarely am on a flight where the F bins aren't full - and sometimes spill over into the Y bins.

And yes, look at the upgrade lists and the 'Y' pax boarding in the first boarding group. Some of the worst offenders in 'Y' are elites who didn't get the upgrade. They're not hauling those bags on (nor are the folks in F) because they don't want to pay baggage fees.

I can't believe anyone who thinks it's a mess now thinks it won't be a bigger mess (for quite some time) if the airlines abruptly start enforcing the bag rules. It only takes one or two DYKWIA pax to give GAs a serious headache, and there will be more than one or two. Plus, if the airlines don't all make the shift at the same time, you're really going to confuse the infrequent fliers.

And please. Don't even think of suggesting that this should be enforced at the security checkpoints. :td: Those people already can't do their jobs.

At the very least, I think if there's going to be a 'crackdown', it should be preceded by a few months of 'citing' bag violators - let bags through that are a near miss on the sizer, but give them a warning tag - at some stated time in the future, the bag will no longer be allowed as carry-on and will be gate-checked at a charge. This approach might ease such a transition.

I have seen GAs (not UA) occasionally pro-actively roam the gate area looking for oversize bags to be checked ahead of the boarding scramble. That provided an opportunity for education, seemed to defuse pax anger, and didn't cause boarding delays.

Cantheplanegofaster? Feb 4, 12 11:47 am


Originally Posted by chollie (Post 17951377)
It's important to remember that not all folks in 'Y' are 'Kettles' trying to avoid baggage charges, either.

Plenty of them are 'entitled' elite flyers who didn't get the upgrade (some pretty long waitlists out there these days!), as well as those who don't pay bag fees because of CC benefits, etc.

I think there's going to be big kickback for any airline that tries to uniformly apply strict baggage rules. Plenty of elite flyers are going to kick back when they are forced to check a well-travelled expensive bag because it doesn't fit in the sizer - and when they realize they now have to buy a new, appropriately sized bag. I don't think any airline relishes taking that fight on.

Since the elite flyers are the ones who complain the loudest and longest, it would seem to me that it would make more sense for the airlines to ask why these elite flyers persist in carrying on bags instead of checking them. Address those problems - timely, reliable delivery of bags and security of bags - and I think you will also see more (not all, but some) people willing to pay to check a bag.

Even if I weren't an elite, I would never check anything I can carry-on during the outbound leg of a trip that entails travel on arrival. I do NOT want to arrive and find my bag has been delayed or rifled - I am often in a situation where there's no practical way for the airline to catch up to me and deliver my bag. Under those circumstances, I'd even pay to carry my bag on, just so I would be sure it arrived with me and my trip wouldn't be ruined.

I think most people do it for one of two reasons: save time and like you mentioned, assurance bag makes it

As for saving time, this is case by case and if having tight connection while waiting for gate checked bag can cause missed flights as one example. The biggest time savings is upon arrival not waiting for the carousel. For INTL travel, in most cases this is a non-issue as y the time you clear immigration the majority of the time the bag is already out or very shortly thereafter.

Bag assurance if you a hoping to hotel to hotel is an issue. What I do is use a small backpack and one day of clothes. I've had a couple cases where my bag did not make it and then had airline forward it to my next destination. In one case it actually ended up being on my next flight so worked out and me and bag were reunited. Punchline: still workable

The bag size rules need to be enforced. There will be grumbling but it's way overdue. If you have a properly sized bag than you should have no issues with carry-on.

Otherwise, the boarding fiascos will continue. Even as a 1K who can load my bag early, I am still impacted because planes push back late due to the luggage circus. In my opinion it stems from too many over-sized carry-on bags.

halls120 Feb 4, 12 11:51 am


Originally Posted by chollie (Post 17951118)
I carry-on because I don't want to spend huge amounts of time waiting for checked bags and because I can't secure my bag.

^^ Same here. Checking a bag these days means long waits for luggage and the chance that some TSA employee will relieve you of your belongings.

that said, I support the call to enforce carry on limits.


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