Battle of the overhead bin

by Jon Surmacz on March 31, 2008

After a brief respite following the TSA’s crackdown on liquids, the overhead bins of many flights are filling up again as fliers have adjusted to the new rules. As The New York Times reports, the turf war for carry-on space has led to some rather uncivilized behavior. From the Times: Passengers have been spotted hiding fanny packs under their jackets and jostling in line to be first to board. Confrontations in the aisles over bin space have come close to fistfights. “I have seen perfectly healthy people feign a limp to get on first with the special needs people to get overhead baggage space,” said Richard Kemmer, an energy consultant from southern Utah.

Who is to blame for the overhead crunch? Everyone is pointing fingers, it seems. The Transportation Security Administration, which performs security screenings of passengers and bags, says airlines should enforce carry-on rules. Airlines say their gate agents and flight attendants are responsible for ensuring that passengers don’t abuse those rules. But enforcement is inconsistent, which only exacerbates the problem.

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