Baggage conundrum

As we've heard in the news lately, airlines are facing a financial crisis due to the rising cost of fuel. In North America, air carriers are passing along additional costs to passengers, and this is making air travel increasingly frustrating.

In many cases, companies are limiting checked baggage to one item and are charging extra for a second piece of checked luggage. Consequently, passengers are packing more into larger carry-on bags. This contributes to the hypocrisy of cabin regulations.

Why, for example, do airlines insist on telling passengers to put heavier, larger items under the seat in front of them, when everyone who's ever been in an airplane can see that passengers prefer to place the heavier carry-on bags in the compartments above? While everyone understands the danger of items falling from overhead compartments, no one wants to sit for hours without a place to put their feet. Boarding has now become a rush to find available overhead space for larger carry-on items.

As cabins become more crowded with baggage because of the limits on checked luggage, the situation is only going to get worse. Airlines should recognize this reality and think creatively instead of repeating rules that everybody ignores.

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