US airline to charge passengers extra to use overhead lockers

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  • JohnHarper

    Surely it’s easy to make it work – you just give the people entitled to put a bag in the locker a bag tag, no untagged bags allowed and if they are found they are removed. If the bag is too big to go under the seat the person can pay a penalty rate for it to go in the hold or disembark and not travel.

    The opposite of the BA thing of tag the ones to go under the seats. A flight I often use from IST-ECN often uses a gate immediately after a BA one, I do enjoy seeing the yellow tags lying around which of course there is more incentive to remove than keep on due to their rather bizarre policy.


    And bizarre is right. Recently I connected from AY to BA, and at the gate was given a yellow tag to put on the bag that had to go under the seat in front. In vain did I protest that being in row 1 I would not have a “seat in front” to put it under. But “rules is rules” and so a tag was attached to my second bag (to which, I hasten to add, I was entitled as a CE passenger).

    The whole thing is a complete joke.

    And to be honest, I play the system, simply because it is easier to do that than comply. If I have very heavy compact things to take with me, into my hand luggage they go – because although the airlines have rules on weight of cabin bags (usually 7kg or 10kg but sometimes more), the airlines I fly never check. They also never check the weight of anything I put in my pockets. You would be amazed at how much my ski jacket weighed at the end of my last trip.

    At the end of the day, the variables for airlines, as I see it, are cargo/locker space and weight. Fuel spend variability on a specific route is presumably primarily weight based. Capacity (subject to weight limits) is primarily volume based. Passengers are expected to take up a particular amount of volume (seat space) so if airlines really want to be fair (ha!!) why not charge surcharges (or give discounts) accordingly to pax weight against the average, including clothing and carry-on, and tie it in with maximum carry-on volume requirements. It’s done on light planes (the look on the Memsahib’s face when she was weighed, while heavily pregnant, for a domestic flight in the Philippines and had that weight shouted across the hall, still haunts me). And I should add that this wouldn’t help me personally very much – although I am not of heavy build, I am rather tall so weigh in generally at the 190 to 200 pound mark.

    Then check-in luggage is limited by dimensions AND weight.

    But of course, I am being far too sensible. Again….

    So the next time some Jobsworth suggests that I should attach some stupid yellow tag to my bag when I am in a front row or exit seat, I will….

    Well, I will put it on, sigh inwardly (and possibly outwardly) and ignore it as usual. Because rules are rules, and (when they are idiotic) made to be broken…


    Bizarre is right Ian & John, on a flight back from Faro my smallish rucksack was unceremoniously decorated with so said tag.
    My golf buddies who had much bigger bags were allowed on, without as much as a by the leave, and they had their duty free bags too!!
    I took the tag off, and when the lassie approached me, I think my facial expression told her numbskulls to find someone else to harass.

    And I’m in complete agreement with you Ian. The whole thing about luggage, weight and allocated space is so ludicrously disjointed now that airlines as a whole are truly a joke.
    Every time I fly I now, I’m either in fits of laughter as I watch people who as children clearly never played shapes, nor Tetris for that matter. Or, I’m frustrated with mild rage as selfish individuals remove /crush smaller bags to exercise their right a gazillion rows away from their own to stow their 2nd/3rd piece of luggage.

    And, I’ll challenge anyone who believes the airlines claim that the introduction of these bampot charges will lower , or keep fares low.
    This is not about low fares; this is all about ways to screw us over, yet again.. In classic rip off style and continual reduction of service level, they will have a legal headline advertised price for a period of time.
    In reality this time period should be called normalization time. .


    I am reminded of a time some years ago when I was playing the system, on a certain airline, flying out of Heathrow. Only an anecdote, so if you are expecting serious comment then move on. If you just want to hear a humorous story, then read on…

    I was running late (M25 traffic). Unbeknown to me my darling mother (GHRS) had decided, on the basis of a comment I had made some time earlier about how much I like it and how difficult it was to get in HK, to bung a 2kg bag of basmati rice into my luggage without telling me. I was already heavily overweight, but was doing my charming “I’m a oneworld emerald, flying first class, can you give me some leeway” act. Which worked, up to a point. They gave me extra weight for this, extra weight for that, but I still ended up 2kg over, for which they insisted I had to pay. 31 pounds (sterling, not weight). But they couldn’t take it at the counter so I had to queue up at the ticket desk, behind (among others, all of whom were processed quite quickly) two ladies of a certain age. One of them had been visiting the other, and clearly had a problem with her ticket, and therefore needed to borrow money from the other to pay whatever charge it was, but the latter was clearly concerned about how she would get repaid. Not the sort of argument I would have with my friends, but then perhaps my friends are more creditworthy 🙂

    This discussion went on for some considerable time. My departure time was getting uncomfortably close. I was on the verge of saying that I would ****ing pay it myself if only they would get out of the ****ing way, when they resolved the issue. So I paid my 31 quid, went back to check-in, got my luggage sent off, and charged off to security. There I faced another delay, because the bulk of my hand luggage comprised two very large, and heavy, cast-iron griddle plates from the very large barbeque that I had just checked in (!). These, unsurprisingly, were completely opaque to X-ray. Cue large quantity of heavily armed security guards who apparently assumed I was trying to smuggle something highly dodgy in a lead-lined case. Having resolved that issue I ran to the gate, and was the last passenger to board. The delightful, and diminutive, flight attendant who met me at the door offered to help me put my case into the overhead locker. Knowing full well that having this fall on me or anyone else (it weighed about 60kg) would be very bad news I suggested that instead it should go into the cupboard. She offered to help. I very politely said I was sooooo happy to do this myself. And I got away with it 🙂

    To this day I can’t honestly say I have any regrets about playing the system. I do, however, bitterly regret telling my mother I liked basmati rice. At 16 pounds per kilo I reckon I could have had it flown in!

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