Avoid This Annoying Packing Mistake That Can Cause A Delay On Your Flight

You feel completely prepared for your upcoming flight. You made a list of everything you'll need on your trip, and you're sure you haven't forgotten anything. You used all the top packing and organizing tricks to maximize the space in your luggage. You sail past the gate and are about to get on the plane when you realize your mistake: you packed your headphones inside your carry-on luggage. Before you can sit down, you must open your suitcase, dig around inside, zip your bag back up, and stuff it into the overhead bin. While you find what you need for the flight, everyone else has to wait to take their seats.


According to one flight attendant interviewed by Business Insider, passengers putting things they will need on the flight inside their carry-ons can result in delays. If more than one person makes this mistake, and it takes them a while to locate their items, many passengers will be left standing in the aisle waiting to sit down. It's easy to see how this could snowball and affect dozens of travelers across multiple flights, especially when short layovers are involved. A simple lack of forethought could lead to short tempers and missed connections.

Put everything you need for the flight inside your personal item

To avoid a frustrating holdup, one flight attendant who spoke to Business Insider suggests putting all your most important possessions into that second piece of baggage allowed on flights: the personal item. The exact regulations on how big this bag can be differ from airline to airline, but you'll probably be fine if it fits under the seat in front of you. Fortunately, this is the perfect place to stow any essentials you might require while in the air and after you land, from your passport and other documents to show customs as soon as you get off the plane to the medication you need to take halfway over the Atlantic.


While you might worry that a purse or backpack isn't big enough to hold everything you'll want easy access to, many game-changing packing hacks will help you save tons of space in your bag. In fact, some travelers actually pack everything they need for their entire vacation into a single personal item-size bag! However, unless that's your idea of a good time, you don't need to take it that far.

Don't open the overhead bin during the flight

Some travelers may opt to quickly load their carry-on bag into the overhead bins so they don't cause boarding delays and pull it down again during the flight to get the items they need out of it. While this prevents delays during boarding, which your fellow passengers will certainly appreciate, if you are in the window seat, you'll have to annoy your seatmates to move whenever you want to take something out of your luggage or put it back in. This is one of a few reasons why the window seat isn't as great as you think — but even if you're in the aisle, you probably shouldn't go rummaging around in the overhead bins.


Unfortunately, looking for your bag during the flight can be a hazard. While bags can and do fall out of overhead bins and injure people after landing, too, the risk may be higher during the flight, to the point that some safety advocates hope the FAA will ban opening the bins while the plane is still in the air. One Delta passenger recalled on Reddit: "The passenger in front of me ... opened the overhead bin to have his bag roll out and fall on the head and shoulders of the passenger in the aisle across from me. The bag looked and sounded heavy ... This is my friendly reminder: When they say items may have shifted in flight, they mean it." Save everyone some potential pain and pack the items you want to access in the air in your handbag or backpack.