Friday, August 28, 2009

Limiting Carry-On Sizes: Careful What You Wish For

Lots of people want airlines or (even worse) Congress to impose strict limits on the bulk of carry-on bags. My guess is that means "other" people's bags, though.

The always-nimble TripAdvisor has a survey out today on the potential involvement of Congress in setting a maximum size-limit for airline carry-on bags. According to an unscientific poll of 2,890 respondents conducted this week on, who were asked "Do you think Congress should set a maximum size limit for airline carry-on bags?" -- 54 percent said yes and 46 percent said no.

I suggest we think this through.

How would limits be imposed? Theoretically, bags would be measured by length, width and depth to meet a standard size. But who would do the measuring, and where? How much time would this add to the ordeal of boarding an airplane? If a firm, uniform rule were designed and imposed, my guess is that airlines would try to use those ridiculous uniform size-boxes, which, of course, don't allow for any odd-shaped bags such as backpacks.

I'd be a lot happier if common sense would simply prevail, as if does for the most part now. The carry-on problem is exacerbated by the occasional nitwit lugging on a bag the size of a jukebox, but the problem really is really caused by the fact that more people are toting on board more things that formerly were checked, including some standard-sized carry-on bags, rather than checking them, because airlines are charging to check bags.

Rather that making this into a federal case, common sense could continue to be enforced by gate agents who know a jukebox when they see one and aren't ginned up to police sensible carry-ons. And who have the authority to red-flag obvious violations of said common sense.

Common sense prevailing in air travel? Yeah, I know, I know. But hey: It could happen.


1 comment:

Tenney Naumer said...

Hi Joe, I just flew to the States for the first time in 5 years, and to my great surprise the entire trip went smoothly! Gee -- did I use up all my luck for the next 10 years?

Nice blog!