Lately, airline passengers overstuffing overhead bins has become a prominent problem. First, Spirit announced that it would start charging for overhead bin luggage, in part to solve it. Then, a JetBlue flight attendant's colorful meltdown made national news, which was triggered by getting hit in the head when an overfilled overhead bin door flew open. A New York Times article by Joe Sharkey examines the issue, and the tension between courteous flight attendants and cranky passengers the problem has caused. But a solution isn't nearly as elusive as he says.
It is clear that there are no good solutions to the problem, even though Spirit Airlines has drummed up its own answer. The fact is, most business travelers need to bring onboard a reasonably sized bag that requires overhead stowage. At the same time, crowded planes and limited space guarantee chronic frustration that often pits overworked flight attendants against overstressed passengers.
Right, but most passengers like a snack on a several-hour flight too, but many airlines charge for that. In fact, there are "good solutions," and Spirit figured out the way to approach the problem: stop encouraging passengers to carry on luggage.