New Idea: No More Carry-On Bags.
We all agree that flying isn’t fun anymore. Cramped seating, crowded planes, extra fees … and the dreaded “boarding process” that now takes close to an hour even for routine domestic flights and 90-minutes or more for international flights. Well, a new idea to make things a little better is being floated: mandatory checking of carry-on luggage.
Wow! A radical idea, all right, but it deserves some consideration.
Under this scheme, you would only b e permitted to carry small stuff onto the plane: an overcoat or some snacks or a briefcase with a laptop, or extra diapers for your baby. In other words, items that fit under your seat or could easily be stashed in the overhead bin so you can get to them easily if you need access during the flight. No more suitcases that are too big to fit “wheels in” which means they take up twice the space in the bin.
The idea has merit. For one thing, the estimate is that it would reduce boarding time by some 70 percent. For another, there would be plenty of space for all the small items in the overhead bins. Of course, the airlines would have to modify their checked baggage fees … I mean, they could hardly require that all bags be checked, then slap a $25 fee on the first bag.
I do see some kinks to be worked out, though. I’m always nervous when I have a connecting flight and I’ve checked a bag. And if I have to change airlines, that would often mean I should be allowing extra time between flights.
(By the way, I travel light, but when I know I’m going to check my bag, I set aside any items I couldn’t do without for a day or two. Whatever they are—medications, for example—I make sure they’re in a small bag I can carry onto the plane.)
I really don’t know if there is a serious movement toward this check-all-luggage idea, but I’d certainly be willing to give it a try. Anything to make flying less of an ordeal.