If you travel by plane this summer, you’ll be happy to know that some airlines are increasing overhead bin capacity.
But don’t rush out to buy a larger carry-on bag, because the change is designed to make it easier for you to store carry-on luggage that meets today’s size limits, rather than to allow you to store larger bags, airlines tell Consumers Digest.
At least three airlines will upgrade to newer planes that have additional overhead bin space or they will retrofit current planes to give the overhead compartments curved doors that allow the bin to accommodate a wheeled carry-on bag better than existing overhead bins do.
American Airlines upgraded 76 of its Boeing 737–800 jets and purchased 173 new 737–800 jets that have additional overhead bin space, says company spokesperson Edward Martelle. The added space will allow each plane to hold 48 more bags, he says.
United Continental will upgrade the bin doors on all 152 of its Airbus A320-family jets and on 14 Boeing 767–300 jets. In 2008, US Airways expanded the bin size on its Boeing 757–800 fleet. Southwest is in the process of purchasing newer Boeing 737-800 jets that have larger overhead bin space. Although the new bins can fit carry-on luggage that’s 24 inches long, airlines say travelers still must limit the length of their carry-on bag to 22 inches.
“The idea isn’t to have people encroaching on other people’s bin space,” says United Continental spokesperson Rahsaan Johnson. “It is to enable more people to have bin access when they are carrying the appropriate-size bag.”
Most airlines require a passenger to check an oversize bag at the gate, which could cost $25 for the first checked bag and $35 or more for the second checked bag.
– K. Fanuko