It's one of those modern travel conundrums; if you check your baggage, there's usually an additional cost and the ever present paranoia that you'll get to your destination and find that your luggage has been lost. On the other hand, when you bring your bigger bag on board, depending on the size of the plane, it might end up checked anyway, even after you've lugged it around the airport.
Even if you avoid that scenario, by the time you board the plane, the last thing you want to deal with is shoving bags around while you are doing your best to get seated in a timely manner. Even if you've done everything right — checked to see that your bag is the right size, gotten through security with nary an issue, and dragged your luggage around while trying to find healthy food for the flight — you might still board in a later group that leaves no space for your bag. And certainly the flight attendants don't want to deal with the luggage puzzle either. It seems like you just can't win.
And airlines know that if you start a flight frustrated, it will color your opinion of the whole experience. Even if you take off and arrive on time, and the skies are clear, the stress of shoving a bag into a too-small bin with a line of impatient people behind you is not easy to forget.
But now some airlines are making the overhead bins larger. It's a simple solution that doesn't cost travelers a thing, and that can eliminate one of the major reasons for hassle and frustration — as well as delays.
A United Airlines spokesperson told the L.A. Times
that the airline wanted the boarding process to be so smooth and easy that it was "not memorable," there are other advantages besides happier customers. Money savings.
"While we don't release the exact figures, there is a revenue benefit to American to increase the overhead bin storage space," American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told the L.A. Times. "American Airlines is committed to investing in its products and services to improve the travel experience for its customers."
Could it be an air travel win-win?