That Hand Luggage Measurement Unit Isn’t Just For Show

That Hand Luggage Measurement Unit Isn’t Just For Show

I’ve mentioned before how Australians seem to delight in trying to carry as much luggage on planes as possible, and the situation isn’t improving. On the quick Sydney-Melbourne flight I took today, a passenger spent a good 10 minutes trying to find space for a bag which was self-evidently both too tall and too wide to actually fit in the overhead bins, let alone under the seat in front of her.

She eventually got lucky and found some space by moving lots of other people’s luggage and putting her bag sideways, However, given that the flight was full, it was a near-run thing. Had she needed to send her oversized luggage off the plane, I’m sure our departure would have been heavily delayed.

To be honest, I’m a bit annoyed that the staff on the gate don’t watch this more closely and tell people with visibly OTT luggage that their goods will have to be sent to the hold. But I’m much more annoyed at the selfish passengers who figure that the chance of saving 20 minutes collecting a bag at the other end justifies them entirely ignoring very clearly set out rules and shunting other people’s bags to less convenient ends of the plane. Obviously I’m all for travelling with just hand luggage, but only when sticking to the rules: otherwise chaos reigns.


  • This ticks me off a bit, especially if I am running late and get on the plane last – I end up putting my carry on miles away from where I am sitting because some piglet has filled up the overhead. Either that or somebody else jams their stuff in on top of mine crushing everything.

  • Agree that it is the responsibility of staff to make sure that luggage isn’t oversized. The other issue is that my hand luggage fits just fine in some overhead compartments while in others it can be a bit of a tight squeeze.

  • We seem to be heading for the situation I recently saw on a trip to the US, where the majority of passengers seem to carry large wheeled carryons, I assume to avoid the minimum $25 charge to check a bag, and also to get out of the airport faster. At boarding, there’s a mad rush to get onto the plane to get to the overhead bins first, and avoid being the guy left shuffling everyone else’s bags over. Or the option to pay extra to get on the plane first. I also noticed that each boarding started with an announcement that anyone who would like to check in their carryon could do it free of charge – and a passive-agressive reminder that if it didn’t fit onboard there’s no guarantee it’ll fly to the destination on the same plane you’re on!

    Also back in Aus, was glad to see a Qantas gate attendant pull up a guy who was trying to board with a suitcase the size of most people’s checked bags. He ended up spending several minutes trying unsuccessfully to jam it into the measuring unit as everyone else walked past onto the plane.

    • I had this happen to me on an internal flight in the US a few years ago – by the time the back half of the plane had boarded, the overhead luggage bins were full up the length of the plane! Then came the delays where the other *half* of the plane had to check their hand luggage before we could leave.

      After that I’ve never really minded the odd person doing it here, but then again I don’t fly here as often.

  • I totally agree and I whinge about it every time I fly too. People are too tight to spend that extra $10 or whatever it is to allow luggage… FFS that’s one drink, or 1/3 of a pack of cigarettes. STOP BEING TIGHTARSES!

    • Agreed. That fatty that inevitably has the seat next to mine and overflows into my seat drops like $30 on food and drink on the flight but can’t pay $10 to check their oversized hand luggage. $10 less put towards feeding your face might do you some good porkchop…

  • Cmon kids. Travel light. Single bag under the seat on front. You can fit plenty under there. Minimise. Simplify. You don’t need that much if you are traveling for less than 3 or 4 days.

  • Japanese ladies…. the worst of the worst when it comes to carry on bags.

    Then the people who are in the front section and get onboard before they’re called so the aisle blocks up while they dick about trying to stow their belongings.

    Some people are just too selfish.

  • I hate the people who think it is fine to board with three bags in hand….WTF! Since when is that allowed.

    It is usually a family of fatties and the kids even have three bags plus stuffed toys!

  • That’s why the boarding crew should take it and check it. Certainly do in the ‘states.

    No crap about it, if it’s too big it goes in checked baggage.

  • I honestly believe if workers did their job properly and efficiently, this would not be a problem. Prime example, I travelled to Japan earlier in the year. From the time I got off the plane to picking up my luggage at Narita airport? 15 minutes! That includes going through customs and immigration!

    Airlines and businesses should concentrate on servicing needs of it’s paying customers first, this way none of this would happen.

  • stop being pansies. call the bastards out. start with something like “hey mate, if you bring all that on the plane the rest of us will have to wait for the next one” or something similar. You could always ask for a refund from the airline on the plane when you can’t put your luggage in the overhead.

  • I live in the USA right now and the problem is really bad over here as many people have said. Mainly because of airlines charging baggage fees to check your bags i think. Every time i get on a flight people are hauling these HUGE suitcases down the walkway and end up having them stowed below anyway with the rest of the checked bags. I dont know why airlines havent caught on to this but they pretty soon will and will begin charging people for that too. I think its caused here by the recession amongst other things and people trying to save some bucks… while airlines are trying to make an extra one due to less people flying.

    Some airlines will call passangers out on it though. US airways over here ive seen do that plenty of times and they hold passangers back from walking down the aisleway to the plane through the gate if their bag looks really big and make them wait until the end.

  • There will always be selfish ar$eholes (in fact they are breeding at an alarming rate) but as as been said if the airline staff don’t enforce the rules then it’s open slather.
    My prediction is it will come to a head when the airlines are forced to do it and that will be when a passenger gets clocked on the head by a falling piece of luggage that is oversize. They’ll take the airline to court, it will come out that the luggage is bigger than is allowed, airline will be found culpable and suddenly all airlines will find it much more in their interest to enforce the rule.

  • I agree with most of what’s been said but maybe we’re just thinking like people who fly a lot. I was in a luggage store the otherday and overheard two people, one said to the other “Buy the biggest carry-on and suitcase you can, you’ve paid for the luggage space so you should take as much as you can” ….. !!!!

  • Oh and they take foreeverrr to put their crap up in the overhead bin. They also take foreverrr to get it back out. Drives me nuts. I usually just have a backpack which I chuck under the seat and am in my seat within like 10 seconds. Worst is when it doesn’t fit and they have to somehow get their bag back to the front.

    That said, it is a bit of the airline’s fault since their stupid ‘guides’ are ridiculous and overhead space can vary A LOT between different planes.

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