Cabin Crew And Frequent Travelers Despise This Common Misuse Of A Plane's Overhead Bin

Flying can be really frustrating these days. If you can't fit everything in your carry-on and need to check a bag, you're likely to have to pay extra for it. Some airlines have lower tiers of ticket that make you pay for your carry-on as well. It makes sense that passengers are trying to shove anything and everything they can into bags to take on the plane with them. While most airlines restrict you to one carry-on and one personal item, some fliers have interpreted that as the biggest bag you can fit and a giant backpack or purse that is almost the same size of your luggage. If it's cold, you're probably wearing a large coat as well. While your personal item is supposed to go under your seat, many passengers are shoving them and their coats into the overhead bins along with their rolling bag so they have more legroom. 


However, when you take up more than your allotted overhead space, you force flight crews to shift items around, which can cause boarding delays. It also makes things more stressful for other passengers who have no place for their own luggage. There are good reasons for not doing this and we've got them for you, as well as some packing tips that could make that unnecessary in the first place.  

Putting the right things in the overhead bin

This is an issue that gets people upset and it makes sense. If you haven't flown enough, checked in soon enough, or spent enough money to end up in an early boarding group, by the time you get on the plane, you might not be able to find any overhead space. Then you end up walking up and down the aisle trying to find a spot that isn't anywhere near your seat if you can find anything at all.


The rules say your personal item goes under your seat, so your coat really should be on you or under you. That is, however, unless you've only brought a single bag like a backpack. (A recent Reddit post about not putting backpacks and coats in the overhead bin did make a lot of frequent fliers angry, but many said they only brought the backpack and no personal item.)

That also means you should leave everyone else's stuff where you find it. That's true, even if you're carrying something fragile, but if you have an issue, call a flight attendant. Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas told, "A good rule of thumb is if your item is breakable or highly valued, keep it with you rather than storing it in the bin." If someone has several items in there, don't confront them. Just ask a flight attendant.


Packing tips to help save space

We have some tips to help you pack lighter. First, remember that some things are worth buying instead of packing in the first place, or skipping, like basic toiletries the hotel has for free. Try packing a coat that doesn't wrinkle so you can fold it into your bag, sit on it, or use it as a blanket. 


If you can't stand having something at your feet, try leaving enough room in your backpack to put your personal item like a purse inside once you get through security. If you're checking a bag as well, put your softer items in your backpack and the harder ones in the checked bag. That way your feet can squish the items down a bit. You can also use these flight attendant packing tricks for maximizing space and staying organized

Pack clothing items that can be worn more than once, or do laundry where you're staying, especially if it's a rental home with a washer and dryer. You can try out packing cubes to save some space or consider these game-changing luggage hacks. If you're in a late boarding group, let the gate agents know that you'd be willing to gate check your carry-on if they need room. That can often be done for free. 


Finally, remember that you are in a small area with lots of people who need the room as much as you do. It's rude to take up more space than everyone else.