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Winter coats carry on luggage and overhead bin space

On the flight back passengers exacerbated an already delayed flight as many who boarded first decided to stuff winter coats in the overhead bin causing a shortage in space. Your thoughts and why and why not and when and when not to put coats in the overhead bin.

Posted by
2514 posts

on a flight back from Prague last week passengers were told not to put coats in the overheads and to out them under the seat in front of them. Personally if the flight is quiet then it is ok to put them in the bins if it is busy then they go under the seat.

Posted by
4350 posts

In the days before many people started eschewing checking their luggage in there was ample room for everyone to place a small bag and a coat in the bins but now, due to a combination of extra fees and a reluctance to wait for your luggage at the carousel, many people are trying to cram large suitcases in spaces that were never designed to hold such amounts.

I've made my thoughts clear on this subject on several occasions on this site. I find the practice of bringing inappropriately sized luggage on board to be quite selfish. On my most recent flight I watched as a family of five sauntered on board right at the end and each had a large 'carry on' including the two young boys and a toddler. Of course there was insufficient room to place the bags and the inevitably the flight was delayed whilst the crew struggled to find somewhere to place them. As a result other passengers bags were crushed with no thought as to the contents within. When we travel with our children, particularly for a weekend break we can fit all we need for the four of us in one large suitcase and that gets checked in, longer trips simply mean checking in more suitcases. My wife and I then take on a small bag each containing valuable electronics and whatever else we might need on the plane. I really don't understand why others cannot do this. It's no big deal to wait for your luggage at the carousel, the average wait for me has been around 15 minutes.

I know others say that they don't want to risk their luggage being lost but it's a risk you take when flying. I've been fortunate in all my years of travelling of never losing luggage but why should your risk adverseness inconvenience everyone else?

Posted by
2514 posts

On the Flight I was on from Prague to Edinburgh last Friday (easyjet) there were many bags being gate checked for free ,there was no argument, the bag was gate checked or you did not fly,at one point I reckoned around 25 bags. I had a prepaid checked bag and a small backpack that easily went under my seat with my winter coat folded on top.
I think if all Airlines introduced and properly enforced carry on rules then there would be less problems.

Posted by
1217 posts

Airplane carpets are gross and dirty. Doubly so when you're talking routes where jet bridges aren't guaranteed and people track in whatever from tarmac to plane.

The bags I take on a trip are selected in part because they can easily be wiped down with a damp cloth and a little mild soap if they get soiled, my winter coat not so much. So no worries about a personal item at my feet other than a slight loss of leg room, but, save for instruction from crew, the coat that is not so stain-proof goes in the overhead bin and the turtles can either deal with it or check their technically oversized wheeled bags.

Posted by
3894 posts

I can't say I've ever travelled when I needed a big heavy coat (yet), so there is a bit of a difference, but I am always able to just stuff my jacket on top of my carry on in the overhead. Or a few times the planes have had hooks on the backs of the seats in front and I've hung my coat there. I wouldn't stuff my coat under the seat in front unless I had a plastic bag to put it in. Thre isn't much room underneath the seat in front anyways - and that is where my personal item and my feet go!

If I had a winter coat, I'd wait until the plane was up in the air, then try and fit it on top of my carry on - if there wasn't room, I guess I'd just put it behind my back on my seat.

Posted by
2202 posts

My two cents. We use a pair of RS convertibles, if we had coats we would squeeze them in after we were up if there was room. We do not want to check, not because of fees (which there aren’t unless we are on a quick connection in Europe), not because of waiting for the bags, but because of problems in the baggage handling. Don’t know if anyone remembers the scandals in recent years involving theft by baggage handlers, and our home airport, Philadelphia, was the worst at this. Coat? Use your lap, not the bins if they are full. And the gate people have to begin stopping those passengers who roll a full wheelie on which they have three other various bags and objects. Way more than can be put under a seat, and essentially two overhead slots worth. And this should be apparent at the gate.

Hey, if this is on Norwegian then your winter coat in your lap saves having to pay for a blanket!

Posted by
2865 posts

I'm with Larry on this one. I wear my coat on the plane and leave it on if I'm cold, sometimes removing it and draping to over the front of me like a blanket since airline blankets can be sooooo thin. If I'm too warm, I'll just take my arms out and leave it hugging the seat like extra padding, airline seats could use some IMHO.

As to the overstuffed overhead bins, many of you have spelled out some of the most glaring issues; being charged for checking a bag and fear of loosing a checked bag. The latter happened to me last summer on a return flight DUB to SFO. AF claimed they knew where my bag was for the whole ordeal but I returned on a Wednesday and didn't see my checked carry on for one full week. They wouldn't give me access to any tracking information even though I called them daily since they handed me a letter when I got off the plane saying it would come on the "next flight" when I arrived in SFO and it didn't. I can't do that again.

Posted by
5652 posts

In the old days the overhead was a coat and hat rack and didn't have doors to protect seated passengers against falling luggage. Flight crew should have started gate checking what wouldn't fit.

Posted by
12403 posts

Like Larry and Mona, I just take my coat to my seat with me and use it as a blanket or extra padding. Cabins can be pretty chilly on transatlantic flights, and the very thin blankets they hand out are nearly useless.

Posted by
6515 posts

On several US domestic flights over the Christmas holidays, flight attendants announced not to place coats in overhead bins until all passengers had finished placing luggage there.

Posted by
7400 posts

Had same experience in Nov., as Suki describes. Stuff coats in around bags after all bags stored in the overhead bins. Problem solved

Posted by
2708 posts

Even pre-holiday trips the flight attendemts have requested people only put their coats in the upper bin on their own suitcase if there is room. I place my jacket, sweater, whatever in a recycle bag to keep them clean underseat. I wish I could manage to get booked on one of the cool flights as I am always on a too warm flight!

Posted by
437 posts

When it is a light jacket, I will put it in a bag I keep under the seat in front of me, sometimes I pull it out and wear it or use it as a pillow. If it is a heavier jacket, I put it ontop of my luggage in the overhead. When my husband and I travel together, we will spread it over both of our luggage.

Mary

Posted by
1085 posts

Why is inappropriate sized luggage allowed in the first place. This is the responsibility of the airline to ensure their rules are met for this exact reason. As long as everyone puts one suitcase up top, and not their personal item also, I find that everything (including coats and the occasional extra small shopping bag) fits fine. I consider where my carry on is to be my space, all if it, in front, up top etc so I usually put my jacket up there WITH the suitcase as in in the same space. Its always the same jacket, the same suitcase and I have it down how it is going to be placed in the bin. I think were you run into trouble is when people do not travel often and do not understand the rules and how everything they carried onto the plane does not go in the overhead bin. I have seen people put their suitcase, a large tote, their jacket, their shopping bag and scarf all spread out in the overhead just to get the rude awakening when the other two people in that row show up and start shoving all that aside to fit their allowed carry on.

Posted by
3173 posts

I have no issue with people putting their winter coats in the overhead storage bins.

Why is inappropriate sized luggage allowed in the first place. This is
the responsibility of the airline to ensure their rules are met for
this exact reason. As long as everyone puts one suitcase up top, and
not their personal item also, I find that everything (including coats
and the occasional extra small shopping bag) fits fine.

Exactly, if gate agents actually USED the baggage templates with persistent regularity, luggage that exceeds the carry-on limits wouldn't make it on board and there would be room for coats. Discount airlines especially those in Europe are vigilant about stopping those travelers who think the rules of carry-on bag dimensions don't apply to them.

Posted by
1217 posts

I will say that if I'm neither traveling to a Siberia-equivalent in winter nor needing a more formal coat, those puffy down coats that fold up into their own pockets really are awesome from a space-saving point of view and are often quite warm down to slightly under freezing conditions.

And when they're in folded up pocket mode, can be used as a very small pillow.

Posted by
2769 posts

Maybe this is only a problem for those of us not used to carrying coats, but I just lost a $200 raincoat because I put it in overhead bin next to my carryon and forgot it when we landed. I will definitely either pack in carryon or cover legs with it in the future.

Posted by
2525 posts

selkie’s post matches my thoughts, although my puffy jacket is no down. It does compress into one of it’s pockets.

Posted by
173 posts

If the airlines do not enforce their carryon policies, some passengers will not follow them. I mention this every time I complete a "how was your flight" survey. Also, most planes do not have enough overhead space for every passenger to stow a regulation size carryon.

I usually just fold my coat and sit on it. When flying to a colder climate, my coat is folded in the outer front pocket of my suitcase. I just pull it out when we land. On our Christmas flights we were asked to put our coats on top of our overhead bags.

Posted by
2349 posts

I have a nylon foldable tote bag like this one:
[https://www.myrume.com/products/large-tote][1]

[1]: https://www.myrume.com/products/large-tote and I pull it out after security. Mostly because I don't want to juggle 10 things. It will hold my coat, my cross body bag, a bottle of water, a newspaper, etc. It still is small enough to be a personal item and will fit under the seat. Keeps my coat clean and my crap in one spot. It washes easily.

Posted by
138 posts

When I went to Prague in December a few years ago I wore my LLBean winter coat the whole way, and my snow boots and two pairs of long underwear! With all the extra heavy winter clothes (I planned to be out walking in the cold much of the day), wearing my coat was the only way I could fit everything in my carry on. People can be selfish, it's true. Many times I've heard the flight attendants ask people not to put their coats in the overhead rack, but many do whatever they want to. One night the hostel was so cold that I wore every single item of clothing to bed!

Posted by
342 posts

I keep my coat on or cover my legs with it. I do not put it in the overhead bin so that can be used for carry on bags as it is meant to be used. I know many people do not follow that. I do wish the airlines would enforce the number and size of carry ons.

Posted by
5652 posts

If the flight is full and if every passenger boards with a maximum legal size carry on, all of the carry ons will not fit in the overheads of economy configurations with three seats per overhead compartment. If the seat pitch is a generous 32 inches, a three seat configuration will only fit two 14-inch wide bags per 32-inch row.