The cumulus race beneath the silver winged craft like caribou crossing the plains.

The plane is being boarded and like the caribou, people herd towards the gangway fighting for their position in line for the coveted overhead bin space.

The elite, elderly and those with children are loaded first. The elite come in extremes – those with oversized bags and those with the bare minimum. I cannot help but frown as I watch the zealous business man trudge down the gangway with his two bags after cutting in front of me. His oversized garment bag hits me as his luggages wheels in tow.

The air host smiles at me saying “I’m sure I’ll see that bag back”

I grin broadly responding, “I bet you won’t because he’s first on and he’ll take up the whole overhead bin and nobody’ll be able to use it but him. What you’ll see is two other carry-ons.”

The host smiles again, this time not the static well-used smile, but a genuine one, slow to start and lingering. “You may be right, have a good flight!”

I was right, but who cares? The business man placed his red oversized garment bag in the overhead bin. It was hoisted into the bin like a big red warning flag and yet in the boarding chaos who really paid any attention. The focus after all was on meeting the deadline to get airborne. The air stewardess’ voice is shrill and perky informing all that luggage wheels should face the windows and only one carry-one item should stow in the overhead bin…. The other should go under the seat.
…And up it goes, the smaller item goes up also. Why impede his leg room, I’m guessing he planned to stretch out. Sure enough when the other passengers board the plane they were without any room and were trying to squeeze suitcases beneath their seats.

So the question arises…

If the overhead bin space is so coveted, then what charge for space in the cargo hold. Why not charge for overhead bin space?

Surely, reversing the perspective has a greater impact for the on-time departure. As much as 50% of the luggage slated for carry-on ends up getting checked for free. With a reversed perspective boarding becomes that much easier as most will check their luggage. Resource planning for luggage management can be forecasted. Any lost revenue from checked baggage will be made up by the business traveller who must ensure an expeditious exit and pay for the privilege of carry-on. All in all the experience should be that much more enjoyable as the animalistic hunt for space has been eliminated and like high school, we all have assigned seating.

…We all know its all about the experience!