Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Delta and United are replacing and/or upgrading their overhead bins so that they can hold more luggage.  Boeing is designing future jet interiors so that they can hold bulkier luggage.


Checked baggage fees have lead to more passengers carrying on bags and those bags growing in size.  A common complaint of fliers is that the bins fill up before everyone even reaches their seats.  This in turn has resulted in upset travelers, harried flight attendants, and delays.

The percent of passengers carrying on bag is around 87 percent according to United, which has seen the size of many carry-ons increase.

Experts see expanding bin size as a smart way for airlines to make themselves more attractive to fliers.  This is particularly true for airlines that cater to business travelers.  Larger overhead bins can result in a small but meaningful competitive advantage.  Business travelers are known to avoid an airline that cannot accommodate their carry-ons.

Usually airlines waive baggage fees when carry-ons do not fit overhead and are then checked in at the gate.  Business travelers, responsible for most of the airlines industry’s revenue, are frequently exempt from baggage fees because of their frequent flier status.


One of the ways airlines are making their overhead bins larger is by replacing their baggage bin doors with ones that curve out more.  Where possible replacement bins are now being built to allow fliers to slide bags wheels first instead of sideways, increasing overall storage capacity.

Boeing is engineering bins on new planes to better fit a standard 9 x 14 x 22 inch roller bag.  This is a change from past practices when designers used to prioritize maximizing cubic inches.

To date, few airlines have consistently enforced carry-on rules regarding the size and number of carry-ons.  United Airlines has been running an experiment at a few airports where its agents have been asked to identify bags that are too large or passengers who bring too many.  Such bags are then being checked at the gate.

By admin