People have been trying to stuff their steamer trunks into he overhead bins long before baggage fees. They “don’t want to wait” at the baggage carousel, so instead the rest of us wait while getting on and getting off while they deal with their bags. What is really irritating now is that they bring those bags, and wait for the inevitable announcement that it’s a very full flight so they need some folks to gate check their luggage. So they do that, skip the fees and get preboarded for their reward.
On a recent flight, the gate agent announced that they were looking for volunteers to check their larger carry on items, for free, as the flight was full. I stood amongst a group of people, most of whom had large carry on roller bags. They didn’t so much as flinch. They just stood there. I was appalled. I’m sure most of those bags only had clothes and maybe a few work materials. Yet, when I travel, I’m usually taking a backpack full of camera equipment I can’t check (unless I want expensive broken lenses), yet I have to worry about their being space for my camera bag while some self centered business travelers stuff their suitcase with a couple of days of clothes and some paperwork, which they should have or could check, into bins that aren’t really big enough for them.
owatonnabill has proposed this before. On a few of the busier destinations (Vegas?) stop with the phony lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut fares with all the hidden and not so hidden charges for everything from bags to increased legroom to biffy access, bring the seat width back to something that only a bulimic could accommodate, and make the entire flight something like business class. Or even invent a new class (“prefe ugg sandals rred ugg sand ugg sandals als class”?) and sell every seat in the whole damned airplane for the same cost. Say 15% ugg sandals over economy for the same price on the non “preferred class” flights. For that price you get one free checked bag, one free carryon, free meals enroute, maybe a complementary schnapps or two upon boarding, flight attendants who don’t act like you’ve just asked them for their firstborn when you request a blanket, free headphones, etc. etc. It is a guarantee that those flights would sell out AND the airline would make a larger profit than on the cattle car flights.