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Old 07-05-2008, 09:27 AM
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It has always annoyed me to see people show up at the airport gate with luggage that is obviously not legal to be carried on the airplane. The thing is, nobody ever does anything about it and these people hog all the overhead bins.

Well, as we talked about recently when the checked baggage fees started popping up, the airlines are poised to crack down on carry-on abusers. Read more about it here .

The important thing to note in the AP story - this is an FAA rule and not one dreamed up by the airlines. Perhaps the FAA ought to be enforcing it before people get to the TSA checkpoints. The gate agents have a stressful job to begin with, and don't need the added abuse from enforcing the rule at the gate.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:22 AM
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I like how they say it's an obligation for them to enforce the FAA rule so they don't get fined. They weren't worried about getting fined all this time they haven't enforced it?!! I also like how they will have extra staff to enforce it. Nice to know they have those funds to pay the extra staff. Sounds like they're just trying to find a slick way to get more people to pay the $15 by saying "Don't blame us, it's the FAA." When they should have been enforcing it all along.

Your right Dave, the FAA should enforce it at the check points. Remember years ago when some airports had templates across the screeners. What happened to that?
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Remember years ago when some airports had templates across the screeners. What happened to that?
Yup, I remember them. I guess that might pose a problem with the TSA scanning machines since they have to allow for the trays.

The solution is simple to me. Just have a template checkpoint in front of the TSA area. It only takes a few seconds to drop questionable bags in the template. If you fail you don't get access to the TSA area.

Last week we had people showing up with rollers that were easily twice the template size. We've all seen them every time we fly. Sure, the airlines are using a convenient excuse here to generate revenue. I'll be happy if someone - anyone - will enforce the rules. The FAA rule must be based on safety concerns. Why it has never been rigorously enforced escapes me.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:02 AM
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It will be nice if they do enforse it finally. I would love to fly again without passengers showing up with large backpacks and roll ons with traditional sized carry ons strapped to the roll on. It takes them a very long time to just get their bags dis-assembled and then more time to try and cram everything into the compartments that are too small for their bags. All while you stand hunched over in the aisle waiting for them to clear it. Then the next guy or gal behind them does the same.

What's wrong with checking your bags and taking aboard just what you need in a small carry-on? I can already hear the whiners at the check point making a fuss over it. Now we'll be in line behind that mess. Hopefully they'll handle a few the way they did Naomi Cambell and escort them away, in hand-cuffs if necessary.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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Well, I am probably going to get reamed for this one but, here goes... The main problem causers are the adults travelling with children. They seem to think that they can bring a car seat, extra "rollers", a bag of children occupying goodies, purse, briefcase, cosmetic bag, DVD player, iPod, laptop computer, oversized backpack, lunchbox full of edibles to keep aforementioned rugrat happy... etc. etc. And of course, the parent who thinks that their child does not need his or her own seat. It happened to me last month on Southwest. I complained and was branded a "kidhater" for the rest of the flight. I am sorry but if the kid can't be stuffed in the overhead bin or crammed under the seat, then they need their own seat. (preferably, not next to me or, heaven forbid, behind me) Yes, I know that I have become a 36 year old grumpy old man but come on people... have some respect for others... Sheeeesh... (I'm done)
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:47 PM
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I know what you mean by the kid thing. However, the car seat is actually recommended for use aboard the airplane for the same reasons as their requirement for cars. And, a car seat doesn't count as a carry-on item if it is used in a purchased seat.

Even when my son was a baby we alway got him a seat. First of all it just isn't a good idea in my mind to have a "babe in arms" for a flight. Secondly, this made him a paying passenger and thus justified our having "his" carry on items. And finally we always got three seats together and put him in the middle, which minimized any hassles for the other passengers.

The problem with families traveling with small children wouldn't be as bad if they uniformly pre-boarded them. (Actually I hate the term "pre-board". It makes no sense. It ought to be "special needs boarding" or something like that.)

Long flights with babies are painful. We never went farther than HSV to MIA until he was older. On our 5.5 hour flight from ATL to SEA the other week, we were in first class and a woman with an 8 month old boy and a 2 year old girl was two rows up from me. The little girl had a seat but mom carried the baby for the whole flight. She was a wreck by the time we landed in Seattle. The kids behaved but all the squirming and need to use the bathroom all the time wore the woman out.

The obsession with showing up at the gate looking like a pack mule causes all sorts of grief. They take up all the storage space and no doubt screw some other people. They cause the little game of jockeying for position in line to get ridiculous. A couple at SEA on our return flights caught my eye. They cut in towards the front rather nonchalantly, making sure not to make eye contact with anyone. They stood there for a few moments and then did it again, and again. They ended up at the front of the breezeway line (priority boarding). Then we start boarding and these two clowns weren't in first class, nor were they big shot frequent flyers. So the gate agent calls Zone 1 and we are behind the buttinskis, the agent looks at me and says to stand aside and wait for my zone. I tell her "I'm zone 1". She goes "well what are you waiting for". So I head to the door and the buttinski's actually tried to block our way! I made eye contact and he got the message. All that because they had several carry-on bags with them and they were determined to put ALL of them on overhead bins.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:02 PM
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As a frequent business traveler who almost always flies coach, I say: HOORAY!!!!

Whether I'm gone for one night or three, I travel with a 19-inch rollaboard (fits wheels-first in the overhead with room to spare) and a laptop bag that is only slightly larger than the laptop (that goes under the seat in front of me). This is pretty much what most airlines allow. I see people bringing on large backpacks as their "free" item and then stuffing it in the overhead bins, along with their 22-inch rollaboard that can fit only lengthwise.

Now, if only they could figure out a way to make the seats recline gradually so that they don't take out my laptop, life would be perfect.
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:13 PM
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I guess I am showing my analytical side to things based on my career dealing with strict rules, procedures, and verbatim compliance, but I measure our carry-on bags (checked ones too) with a tape measure to ensure they meet the standards for size. We also weigh our checked baggage before we leave home to ensure it is within the rules.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:12 AM
 
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Dave, The problem with measuring to the standards is that they seem to always be changing and they can vary from airline to airline and even from airport to airport (Heathrow always seems to have its own rules). We find this a real problem on international flights, and it can sometimes be difficult to even find out the latest standards. As an example, last year we had ocassion to fly LOT Air (its the Polish airline) from Budepest to Neward (via Warsaw). When we tried to find out the applicable luggage rules for the short flight from Warsaw to Budepest, the info was not on their web site. We tried to call their toll-free number only to discover that it had been disconnected (you now have to call a local New York phone number...and pay for the call). When I called the New York office they also were not sure of the regulations. Ultimately, we had to e-mail a specific person in their Warsaw home office who did respond. This kind of thing is not unique to LOT..which by the way, turned out to be a decent airline who still serves real food and free drinks.

Hank
 
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