Fine Overhead Luggage Compartment Crammers

I’m sure that we’ve all seen them, the folks who board a plane their hands full of excess hand luggage. Usually they are the last ones on the plane, yet they seem quite surprised when they open the overhead luggage compartment only to find that is has been used by other people.

Then they go about re-arranging several luggage compartments so then they can squeeze in their precious goods. Using as much force as they can possible muster they push and shove and create a space for their goods where there was none before, paying absolutely no respect to the luggage which already occupies the space.

They are the Overhead Luggage Compartment Crammers, and I reckon that their time should be up.

I’m a reasonably fair and equitable person, and I reckon that if someone boards a plane with hand luggage which is within the limits set by the airlines, then they are entitled to their fair share of space within the luggage compartment.

I admit that I get annoyed at the luggage compartment hogger. Those people who get on board the aircraft with three or four cases or odd-shaped souvenirs who then go about re-arranging everyone else’s luggage just so they can fit their over-the-top haul into a previously tidy luggage compartment.

Mind you, my angst is usually not directed at the passenger with the excessive hand luggage, but at the airline staff who allowed them to board the aircraft whilst carrying so much luggage. I’ve made quite a few flights in my life, and each time I have lined up to either check in or at the boarding gate there is helpful information telling you of that airline’s limitations on hand luggage.

I can appreciate that the staff at the check in counters, although these are getting rarer these days, may not always be able to observe the extent of a person’s hand luggage. However, staff at the boarding gate do see what passengers are carrying, but still allow the overhead luggage compartment crammers onto the plane even though it is obvious they are breaking the airline rules.

What is the pint of having a rule is it is not to be policed? If the airlines really don’t care about how much hand luggage passengers carry onto the plane, why don’t they just waive all restrictions so passengers can take on board whatever they like?

My mind sometimes boggles at the stuff some people think they can stow in an overhead luggage compartment. I once saw a guy who had bought a souvenir wooden ship. It was about one metre long and still had all of its rigging. A beautiful ship, no doubt, but he wasn’t going to cram it into a luggage compartment. Plus! He had a large carry-on bag to boot! I still can’t understand why he was allowed to take such a mammoth piece of hand luggage into the cabin, plus a bag as well.

I notice there is a trend among some airlines to charge passengers for boarding with hand luggage. I don’t agree with that if a person is boarding with a reasonable amount of luggage. That is, luggage which complies with the airline’s own regulations.

However, if someone feels that can board an aircraft with an excessive amount of hand luggage, hit them in the hip pocket where it really hurts. They may complain, but odds are that all the responsible passengers will be rather jubilant.

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