January 2, 1998 in City

Me-First Pushiness Behind Stuffed Bins Glut Poses Danger Some 1,200 U.S. Passengers A Year Are Hurt By Falling Bags.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

As holiday travelers can attest, people who jam the overhead bins with everything from Santa Claus presents to oversized Cougar paraphernalia not only delay departure times, they drive their fellow passengers crazy.

United Airlines and Northwest Airlines have decided to stop the madness. They’re restricting economy passengers to fewer bags, a move that will finally keep everyone safer.

According to Consumer’s Digest, an estimated 1,200 U.S. passengers are injured every year by falling bags. A flight attendants’ group reports 3,711 baggage-related injuries last year. Certainly, a number of injuries on Sunday’s turbulent United flight from Tokyo were caused by high-flying carry-ons. How have we arrived at such a mess?

It’s simple. Airlines failed to enforce government regulations limiting carry-ons and passengers ran amok.

The current loose limits may have worked in a time when planes were less jammed and the culture more respectful.

Flight attendants have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to set stricter limits on carry-on baggage. It’s flight attendants who must deal with all those pushy passengers and their mountains of luggage. They need all the FAA support they can get.

The FAA, reluctant to regulate, failed to consider a critical issue: the jerk factor. These narcissistic passengers are so self-obsessed that they can’t bear to wait. Ask them to stand for five minutes in the baggage claim area and you’d think you’d just suggested they obey the posted traffic speeds. They’d scream!

The fact is that the vast majority of checked luggage makes it to its destination just fine. When there’s a delay, airlines make prompt deliveries.

As for tight connection times, those, too could be eased with sensible new requirements.

Imagine a flight without the jerk factor. Nobody would be ramming massive sales cases, oversized garment bags or entire sets of golf clubs into those minuscule overhead bins. For those post-Rose Bowl flights, Cougar heads and Wolverine masks would be firmly checked in the baggage compartment below.

With everyone tucked into place sooner, all passengers would be more likely to make those crucial connections. Faster than ever, the plane would be soaring ahead into safer and far friendlier skies. , DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see “Lame service is to blame”

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides CREDIT = Jamie Tobias Neely/For the editorial board

For opposing view, see “Lame service is to blame”

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides CREDIT = Jamie Tobias Neely/For the editorial board


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