Can You Name the Headspace in Flight?

Earlier this week, we explained why you should never change seats on a flight to make room for another passenger, but what about overhead space for their carry-on luggage?

Our video producer Joel recently shared his (unique?) Flight experience with me; According to him, during a dispute between the two passengers, one of the passengers claimed that they were entitled to the top box above their seat. Another passenger, faced with this confusing scenario, willingly removed his bag to calm them down.

I have long shared the idea that upstairs luggage space, like online seating, is allocated on a first come, first served basis. If you sit late, you’re out of luck and may have to check your carry-on at the exit. (This is with the exception of airlines that restrict baggage by cabin class or do not allow carry-on baggage for Basic Economy passengers such as on Delta flights.)

Is putting a bag over the seat of another passenger a stupid move? When you board first … or if you see a lot of room ahead, then maybe. By tucking your bag over the front row seats, you will likely delay the queue when boarding. (You will probably want your bag closer to you for convenience anyway.) When the passengers in the front are forced to look for another free seat, they will also have to go against the flow of passengers to return to their seats, delaying the boarding process. But when space is limited and passengers are clamoring for a trash can, as Joel described – frankly, all bets are off and every available space is a game.

So, we ask our readers: have you ever come across someone who took the top basket above them? How do you feel about hand luggage etiquette?


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