Member since 21 Apr 2020
Total posts 1
I’m curious on people’s thoughts about luggage compartments being a free for all where people can choose whatever compartment they wish, without it being their seat allocated locker. Is the number on the compartment specially for those seating in the seat below? I’m not pushy when it comes to boarding a plane, however by the time I reach my seat others have utilised my compartment leaving me no room to put my things. Or as some of my friends found once, there was no room left in compartments around them and had to put their luggage in a compartment at the back of the plane, then wait until everyone had disembarked before retrieving their stuff.
Just curious, that’s all.
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
Member since 16 Oct 2017
Total posts 187
Compartments get full because carry-on limits are not always enforced and because people will suit their own convenience e.g. putting stuff above row 6 then going to their seats in row 23. I'm not advocating prescriptive allocation of compartments to specified seats or even rows because crew just don't have the time to enforce that. It's a "first world problem" and we either live with it or we give our support to pre-boarding enforcement of carry-on rules.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 06 Mar 2015
Total posts 244
Are you referring to Business Class or Economy?
In Business Class there does not seem to be any problems as far I have experienced but in Economy there have been issues like you describe that I have seen. It would be very hard for Flight attendants to police the placing of hand luggage only in the compartment above the allocated seat during boarding as there's very little room for them to stand in the aisle during boarding. As tommygun has stated I also fully agree that the biggest issue that I have seen on almost every flight is the large amount of hand luggage that most passengers bring on board. It's always way above the allowable limit so if that were policed more frequently there would be more room in the compartments and then there should not be any problems in everyone getting space near or above their allocated seat. Alas! the Airlines are very lax in policing their own policy on these limits so that's the big cause of your problem as far as I see it!!
Member since 17 Feb 2020
Total posts 3
It should be common courtesy, but passengers down the back of the plane do put their bags in the front overhead compartments, especially if they see room. A lot of the passengers at the front are seated there because of their higher status, and are generally some of the last to board.
The problem also relates to the large amount of carry on baggage customers bring on board. This could easily be solved by the Airlines policing their policies at the gate when scanning boarding passes.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 28 Aug 2015
Total posts 64
The other issue here is that when a plane is busy passengers are instructed to place their large bag in the overhead locker and smaller personal bag under the seat in front, however, this is not enforced so if there's room people often place both items in the locker
Member since 05 May 2016
Total posts 305
This is one of the main reasons I find flying business where possible more relaxing for international. I like having my carry-on luggage near my seat. I don't mind if the compartment above my seat is full and I need to put my luggage a row in front or behind where I'm sitting that much but I don't want to have to put it far away from my seat.
Priority boarding if you have it can help a lot when flying economy as it lets you get on the plane early when hopefully there's still room near your seat.
Member since 02 Sep 2018
Total posts 7
Passengers shouldn’t be allowed to simply put overhead heads as they enter when they are seated way down the aisle often within sight of attendents who simply allow this selfish behaviour.
Member since 26 May 2014
Total posts 307
The root cause issue is that carry-on baggage limits exceed the overhead locker space per economy passenger. I’m sure many readers here have experienced the mayhem of boarding in the US where so many passenger bring their “roll-aboards” to avoid paying for baggage, waiting for baggage and loss or damage. Makes sense for individuals, but if everyone on a full plane does it there simply isn’t room.
I usually only take on board a backpack and object to being told I need to put it under the seat in front. I am very tall with large feet, so I need that space to reduce the discomfort.
Distributing baggage around the economy cabin is not unreasonable, otherwise the airlines should look at limiting the number of full-size items allowed on and the rest should go in the hold.
Blaming flight attendants isn't going to help, why should they be the baggage police? GregXL has the solution - just ban "full size" items and enforce before boarding with a suitable fee for late baggage in the hold. Win/win. Distributing baggage around the cabin just makes for a free for all on landing.
It was a lot easier to police carry on luggage a few years ago but the " bag drop " system has made it much harder. When one checked in at the counter staff could see just how much hand luggage you had and could point out that it could well be excessive. Nowadays the last point of checking is at the boarding gate and very few Airlines bother to check. Some time ago there was a device at the gate that one could put the hand luggage in to see if it complied with size but very few people used it.
It's totally up to the Airlines to control this if they wished to do so and it would appear they don't want to have the hassle of controlling it.
The only good thing is that if one travels in Business there is or mostly is free space above your seat. On a couple of occasions I have seen economy passengers put their hand luggage in the Business Class lockers and I have informed the Flight Attendants who then remove said luggage and put it elsewhere in the economy racks.
It will never get any better until Airline management take steps to fix it .
The point I am making is even if a passenger is merely bringing the one hand carry as allowed per policy it ought to be better enforced within the plane that a row 25 passenger shouldn’t be allowed to shaft the luggage as soon as they board on top of row 8 for example for convenient collection on the way out when the plane lands for themselves. When the row 8 passenger arrives ( usually later) there’s no overhead space left altogether or if lucky at the very back.
When flying in the US to connect with a long international flight with a roll on back to Australia one often packs accordingly for the journey. You would expect your one single allowance to carry on is able to travel with you as intended and within your rights.
To then at the gate to be informed that your one allowance of a roll on is now to be checked in means you know you run the risks of all the inconvenience thereafter ( worse in winter ).
Member since 16 Nov 2011
Total posts 53
Originally Posted by travelbee26
The only space reserved specifically for your own carry on is the space under the seat in front of you.
This will just reward bad behaviour.
Member since 15 May 2019
Total posts 43
I don't think this is a big problem on upmarket, full service airlines (at least in Australia). If you're complaining about this situation on budget airlines like Jetstar then tough - it's part of the deal. Just don't travel Jetstar.
I'm all for policing baggage dimensions if someone is taking the piss but upmarket airlines should not be slavishly checking luggage. Qantas occasionally does it in places like Brisbane, where travellers cannot be trusted not to behave like children. It is incredibly frustrating. Having to checked luggage results in delays on arrival and in the US you're always rolling the dice on whether or not they're going to lose your bag.
I also feel Greg XL's pain. I've had a few instances on US airlines where I've been travelling light and then forced (as a 190 cm tall guy) to suffer through a lengthy flight with my luggage at my feet so that some muppet can save $20 checked baggage charge, while trying to ram 8 times their limit into the overhead locker.
I think the solution is just to honour status and let people with it (who know what constitutes an appropriate amount of carry on luggage) board first and put their bags wherever they like. That surely solves all the problems, doesn't it? Perhaps it could be coupled with a system where flight attendants are precluded from seeking to move bags with P/P1/Cl tags on them?
Member since 28 Oct 2011
Total posts 248
There is also the added complication that, if people cannot find space above or near their seat, and they have to go further down the back to find a spot, it is bedlam on arrival, when they have to fight the crowd surging up the aisle in a desperate bid to retrieve their bag.
Plus there are certain rows where the overhead locker is used for crew bags and/or safety materials. This particularly true of row 1 on Qantas B737s.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Overhead luggage compartment battle
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox