Cabin baggage.

I travel. I travel a lot. Hundreds of flights a year, all over the place.

From this experience, I could happily swap bitches with anyone over the various irritations of air travel. From idiots who get drunk, to bad cabin crew, to air rage, to people who overflow into your seat, to the scary practices of various 3rd world airlines, to security guards waving pistols at you, to the overbooking policy of some airlines…you name it, I’ve had to suffer it in a plane or airport.

There is however one habit that fucks me off above pretty much anything else. Bizarrely, it’s a trap that people with the least excuse seem to fall into - the more experienced a traveller someone is, the more likely they are to commit it.

I refer to oversized cabin baggage.

Now I understand about the worries of losing luggage, and I understand how you might be in a hurry, and I understand that you don’t want to have to wait at the baggage carousel for 5 minutes, or that you might be travelling light. It matters not.

Because there is no fucking justification for trying to pass off a small fucking trunk on wheels as cabin baggage. If it needs fucking wheels it isn’t fucking hand luggage. Hand luggage. Carried by hand. Not wheeled around on an integrated fucking wheelbarrow.

Weight aside, if your bag is roughly the size of a chest of drawers check it in the hold, you inconsiderate shite. The rest of us have bags too, and finding a whole locker taken up by your comedy sized bag will not amuse your fellow passengers. Drive us to violence yes, amuse no. You’re going to be locked in a small space with us for some time, and I doubt you want a mile high version of murder on the orient express - especially one where the detective at the end concludes “the fucker had it coming, justified homicide if ever I saw it”.

And unless you really are looking to earn a bonus kicking, trying to fit it into the overhead bins by crushing my already packed laptop case is not a good idea. Whichever way you look at it, your 3 foot by 2 foot bag will not fit in the bin, but my size 11 boot will fit up your arse if I really try hard.

Finally, and most importantly, if the steward/ess or check-in staff advise you that your bag has to go in the hold, just fucking accept it. Either that or find a supervisor and amuse yourself by whining about this cosmic injustice in your own time. What you don’t want to do though is fucking hold up the entire check-in queue, constantly repeating the same bullshit of “But continental class let me take my baby grand on board”, lest I am forced to stab you to death with my ceramic nail file - a messy death, but inevitable since they took my metal nail clippers off me.

Ya, if you want to be somewhat less of a prick, take your giant oversized bag with you to the gate. Then tell the gate agent you want to gate check your bag.

Depending on the airline you might get it back right away at your next stop.


(Of course what you shoud REALLY do is check your fucking bag in at the ticket counter. Assholes. :frowning: )

Yeah ! …… morbidly obese luggage … I accept its every holdalls right to be huge beyond measure but I just don’t want the bag in my overhead storage space. Use yer own damn compartment and don’t assume to cramp my space … who do these bastard baggage bandits think they are …

Amen, Gary Kumquat!

I have nothing to add. You’ve said it all and said it well, I find I get off the plane much faster if I don’t have to wrestle anything out of the overhead. Check it all, I say! When travelling alone I walk onto the plane with my boarding pass acting as a bookmark in my paperback book. That’s it. I use a small wallet when travelling and don’t even carry a purse.

Flying out of New York in early 2002 (close enought to 9/11/01 for security procedures to still be evolving) we were waiting in a very long line and ended up directly behind a high strung young man who insisted on raising his voice and making a big flap because he was told he’d have to check the largest of his three bags. S/O said in a stage whisper “Please, don’t let him be on our flight.” Of course he was. Somehow he wore down the first layer of security and got through with all 3 bags and then went through the whole sceaming drama again at the gate. THEN he wouldn’t get off his cell phone when the plane was about to take off…spoke loudly about the stewardess’ bad attitude…and on it went. Perhaps you should have to pass a test and get a license to fly on a commercial flight.

I’ve never understood this. You’ve just saved, what, 8 hours minimum of drive time, and now someone is gonna sweat 5 minutes waiting for their bag?

If everyone checked the damn bags, they’d save a lot of time getting on and off the plane, anyhoo.

And with everybody always carrying bigger and bigger carry-on luggage, overhead bins on the front rows tend to fill before the passengers sitting underneath them even board the plane. Inconsiderate assholes.

I always carry either a shoulder bag, or a wheeled carry-on bag, but both fit nicely underneath the seat in front of me so I don’t have to ask my fellow passengers to evacuate their seats every 10 fucking minutes to get my MD-player/book/apple/PDA/inflatable goat.

If it doesn’t fit underneath the seat in front of you, it’s not carry-on. That’s my rule, and I’m sticking to it.

Spooje, I’ve seen the idiots do it on 17 hour flights.

Ego, rational suggestions don’t work on these people. A nail studded baseball bat on the other hand is probably worth a try.

gwendee, I sometimes think there should be a test and a license before people are allowed in public at all.

L_C, I have proof that you once tried to check a 1978 Ford Cortina on as hand luggage on a Gatwick-Paris flight. Don’t deny it.

Wow, i thought i must be the only person who got pissed off at this, because on every flight i’ve been on recently, almost every fucking passenger seems to have a suitcase-on-wheels with them as hand luggage. Some of the fucking mostrosities that people call hand luggage won’t even wheel down the aisle because they’re too wide. Helpful rule-of-thumb: if your “hand luggage” can’t even fit between the rows of seats, it’s not fucking carry-on.

It’s good to know that there are others out there fighting the good fight.

What I don’t understand is why the ticketing agents don’t enforce the carry-on sizing at the ticketing desk. Would save so much arsing around on board.

Actually, some do: I had a row with BA ticketing at Heathrow about my guitar, which, now I come to think of it, would make me one of those inconsiderate fucknuts with oversized carry-on - but I only have a soft case for it you see o please let me bring it on as hand luggage, all the other airlines do, you’re just being mean whine whine whine.

My first thought on seeing the thread title was “that’s no way to talk about Mrs. Kumquat”, but, having read the OP, I rather agree …

I remember, back in the dim distant past, checking in at an Air Canada desk where they had a sort of large metal bracket thing fixed over the desk. You were supposed to shove your hand baggage through it; if it didn’t fit, it wasn’t hand baggage, and off to the hold it went. This quaint custom of our distant forebears might, I suggest, beneficially be revived.

I’m often amazed at the amount of luggage people seem to take with them these days. I was waiting for a bus a little while back, and a teenager passed me with one of those backpack-on-wheels dealies. It had an airline weight sticker on it … seventy-six kilos. Seventy-six. Why would you take that much baggage with you anywhere you’re not actually emigrating to?

Oh yeah - there’s nothing quite like a rant with a Scottish accent.

More Special Brew!


I’ve seen those metal bracket things too, Steve. BA uses them here in Amsterdam. Trouble is, BA is also very picky about the weight of the carry-on luggage. It can’t be more than seven kilos. I once had to check in my perfectly carry-on sized wheeler because it weighed 8.2 kilos. Never mind that I always stow it underneath the seat (rendering the overhead bin weight argument moot), never mind that this was a flight to friggin’ Dublin via bloody Manchester. It had to be checked in. Meanwhile Joe Lardass rolls his 1 by 2 meter wardrobe on board, because it weighs 6.9 kilos for some reason. Harrumph.

So…what exactly do you do with an inflatable goat while you’re on an airplane?

Or am I going to be sorry I asked?

I’ve been doing a lot of flying back and forth between Jacksonville and Baltimore these days (heading north tomorrow, in fact) and I’m amazed at the amount of crap people are allowed to drag aboard. I check my main bag, and at most, I’ll have a small tote that fits easily under the seat. It’s so nice not to have to wrestle anything down the aisle. And after I land, I can visit the little girls’ room to freshen up and still beat my bag to the claim area.

I truly wish they’d enforce the “If it doesn’t fit here, it must be checked” rule. I fly Southwest - they’re making money - they’re a great deal - they’re not going to lose business by doing this - I’d be willing to bet real money!! Yeah, I favor an intelligence test for airline passengers.

Just to speak up briefly here… I think there is a certain point to not checking baggage if you can avoid it, which is the entire “you made the trip, your baggage did not” deal, which has happened to me once or twice. Now, I’ll grant you that any sensible traveller would keep a few days of basic necessities in the carry-on baggage and check the rest, but there’s certainly some point to not checking things on if you don’t have to.

That said, if your baggage doesn’t fit, don’t bring it into the fucking cabin. I try and get by with just a backpack or duffel bag, and I never cease to be amazed by the monstrosities that people call hand baggage.

You make an inflatable goat hair blanket. Which is much warmer than the airline-issue blankets.

And if your flight is longer than 12 hours, you can try making inflatable goat milk cheese. It ought to taste better than whatever slop the airline deigns to serve or sell to you.

Plus if you fly El Al, the Chassids in the back might ask to borrow the goat as a stand-in for their guilt-offering. (Can’t slaughter a real goat during the flight, there’s no acceptable place to pour out the blood nor enough room to set up an altar.)

Now are you sorry you asked? ;j

The metal bracket things are still seen, but seldom used. I have seen one used by airport staff to try to prove a point once, and even then the person in question wouldn’t accept it.

“It must be cabin sized, they said so in the shop”
“But sir, it’s a 7 foot cube and weighs 2 tonnes”

Airlines themselves don’t help. I’ve got Gold/Platinum/Weapons Grade Plutonium status[sup]1[/sup] for 5 of the airline frequent flyer schemes, and all of them offer an extra piece of hand baggage or 2 as part of the perks. Great - just encourage the buggars to bring on more then, why don’t ya!

[sup]1[/sup][sub]Another thing that irks me is the oneupmanship of these schemes, which prompts me to wonder if airlines aren’t doing extensive particle accelerator research just so they can invent new ultra rare metals to claim as their own top level frequent flyer grade. “Platinum…that’s so passé, I’m on Adamantium”[/sub]

I’m really not sure that this is much of a reason. In all the times i’ve flown, my luggage has only failed to arrive with me on one occasion. My flight arrived at 10pm, and my suitcase was apparently not on it. By 10am the next morning, the airline had found my case, flown it to Baltimore, and delivered it via courier to my house.

The rather infrequent nature of this problem–in my experience at least–suggests that it does not really qualify as an excuse for bringing all your luggage onto the plane with you.

Hmm… at least in US airlines I had high hopes this would eventually pass, as they were cracking down. But now I realize that the “one carry-on + one briefcase/purse” rule, when combined with our new (largely symbolic) baggage-security procedure, may have the unintended consequence of people tempted anew to push the envelope on the limits of the carry-on.

Let’s see, if travelling with my laptop 'puter, there’s that case, into which fit my reading materials, disc/tape player, and documents. Then a “pilot case” or single-suit garmentbag, with my toiletries kit, camera, and one change of clothes/shoes (in case everything else flies to Ouagadougou while I go to San José). Anything else goes in the hold.

jjimm, how did that that go? …Thank you, Republic Airlines…[…] and may a team of/ mad flamenco dancers/ do to your face/ what you did to/ the neck of my guitar…

But JJIM , you could always open your soft leather case in front of you and play your guitar in the terminal until you collect enough money to afford a) a hard case b) an upgrade c) an empty seat next to you (so Mr Guitar can look out the window) or all three.
Start off with “Kumbaya, My Lord”…That’ll grab some attention. Especially next to a Really Long Security Line. Don’t mention it.