Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Travel Tip- One Reader’s Insights on “The Bin Space”

The following post is a guest post from my dear friend and co-worker, Erin.

As a fellow consultant and weekly traveler, I have the joy of sharing Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons high in the sky with THE Mrs. Newlywed Next Door herself. Thanks to her, I’m very excited to be writing my first blog article ever!! (So please bear with me as I learn the style and technique to sharing my thoughts).

As many of you have probably experienced, the hardest part about traveling is the extra time on each side of your flight itself…It’s the hour you get there before your departure time just to check a bag (note- you have to check your bag at least 45 minutes before your departure time or they might not take your bag) and the hour it takes when you land to actually get off the plane and get your luggage from baggage claim. And, not to mention, the added pains of airport traffic and the drive to and from the airport- your one hour and ten minute flight very quickly turns into a four hour journey! The solution you ask?

Carrying on your luggage!

Aside from Mrs.' 3:1:1 tips, it is important to learn the proper way to store your luggage in the bin space itself. Every morning, Mrs. Newlywed and I groan at the travelers who manage to fill the bin with their “personal belongings” and forget that there are 100 other people boarding who would like to share that space with their most precious items. Here are a few tips when boarding the plane and to keep in mind when using the overhead bin space:

  • Is Your Carry On The Right Size? Luggage size requirements are shown as a total number of inches (i.e. 45") this is the total of the length, width and height of the piece. There are standard sets of dimensions that go to make up these totals (for example, 22 x 14 x 9 is the standard for 45") and if you have a bag that is an unusual shape but still within the total number of inches, you may find it being rejected. Most roller bags you’ll buy are either 20” or 22” (20" is slightly easier to fit into the overhead bin).

  • What Can You Bring Onboard? Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on and one personal item. Personal items consist of: purses, laptop bags, briefcases, canes, jackets in a garment bag, child seats, or backpacks. The key here is your roller bag- as described above- is your carry-on.

  • Where Should I Store My Carry-On? Your roller bag should go in the bin above your head. The important thing is not use all of the bin space so your fellow travelers can share the space with you. Key tip here- turn your bag so the length of the bag is perpendicular to the aisle . You should NOT be storing your bag so the wheels are facing to the side which takes up a greater space in the bin. Believe me, it fits that way.

  • How Can my Roller Bag Fit in the Bin That Way? Turn your bag so that the wheels face OUT. Why? Because there is a slightly smaller space in the back of the bin- almost all bags fit with the wheels facing out (towards you). Now the funny thing is- flight attendants don’t all know this trick and tell you to turn your bag long ways (side to side) because your bag is not going to fit. Let me be the first to share this knowledge- it does!! Turning the bag to have the wheels facing towards you is the secret I wish all travelers knew and used when flying. (there is a diagram below)

  • Where Should I Store My Personal Item? Under the seat in front of you. Don’t use the bin space for that briefcase or laptop bag- put it in the seat in front of you! And don’t tell me you need leg room- that’s BS :-) (is that allowed in the blog world to say?) My little brother is 6’4” and even he puts his backpack under the seat in front of him. So if he can do it- so can you! Now that’s not to say after everyone boarded- if you feel its absolutely necessary to move your bag- go for it! But don’t take away the space for another roller bag and cause them to have to start checking bags. (that’s the first way you’re going to add more travel time to your flight!!)

  • What About My Jacket? Lay it on your lap. And again if there’s space above your roller bag, feel free to lay it across the top once everyone is done boarding. Don't hog bin space with your coat.

  • What If I Get On And There Isn’t Any Room Left Above? Go ahead and kindly ask around if you can reshuffle other people’s items. Sometimes when someone sees you’re trying to make it fit- they might even volunteer to put their backpack or briefcase under the seat in front of them. Also a lot of smaller personal items (backpack, briefcase) can fit two in one space. Its ok to ask around and move- everyone will thank you in the end when you don’t have to take extra time to let the flight attendants check bags.

With those tips aside- do enjoy your travels. And be sure share your new travel knowledge with others- properly storing your luggage can cut-down minutes in your travel journeys!

Thanks, Erin! Look forward to seeing you in the friendly skies on Monday!
And wonderful readers, now that Erin's told you how carry your luggage on the plane and fit it on the bin, I'll tell you how to pack so that all of your items FIT in one roller bag and a purse. Also, if you have any travel questions, leave a comment and I'll answer then next week.


Linda said...

Yes, I need to know how to get everything into one carry on bag. Can you also cover formal wear? I'm going to Vegas for a wedding and we'll be bring hubby's suit and my party dress. How can I pack those with minimal wrinkling?

ker said...

I LOVE this post!! I wish *everyone* knew to pack the overhead with just their carry-on and not also add their laptop bag, coat, bag of breadfast snacks, etc so I don't have to shuffle their stuff when I get on to fit my carry-on - or announce "Someone accidently left their purse and coat up here - I need to move it to make room for my carry-on - if you want, I can put your things under my seat??" Works like a charm...

Monogramchick said...

what a great post, i have to say i am impressed with the diagrams! :)

i can't wait to learn how to make it all fit in the roll on...i have to admit i am one of those who crams it all in and the bag is bursting at the seams....teach me!

Sweet Simplicity said...

I'm the worst packer ever so I can't wait for tips next week!

Lucky in Love said...

So informative!! Thanks so much for the info! I'm looking forward to hearing how I can fit everything into a carry on!

Haley said...

Did Erin draw the diagram in paint???

Lindsey said...

This is so helpful!

ingrid said...

One of my biggest travel pet peeves is people who put their personal items in the overhead bin. I <3 you for calling BS on the leg room! Thanks Erin!

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