United Airlines enforces carry-on luggage rules. The Chicago based airline is cracking down on passengers arriving at airport gates with oversize carry-on bags. United employees will send passengers back to the ticket counter to check in their luggage for a $25 fee per bag is the carry-on bag is deemed too large to fit in the overhead compartment. Passengers can still bring one more personal item such as a purse or laptop that fits under the seat in front of them.
Size limits for carry-on bags have been in place since 2008, but inconsistently enforced by airlines beyond the occasional spot checks. United Airlines believes its new approach will ensure passage luggage will be reliably reviewed at the security checkpoints prior to boarding. United workers will seek baggage they consider larger than the currently allowable nine by 14 by 21 inches. With United employees will be a measuring device where the bag will be placed. Too large and the passenger will be sent back to the check-in counter.
The size restrictions are nothing new. The rules have been displayed for years and passengers purchasing their tickets over the internet receive confirmation emails concerning carry-on restrictions. An internal company newsletter called the new program a “renewed focus on carry-on compliance.”
Some travelers contend the new rule by United Airlines to enforce carry-on luggage is part of a broader attempt to garner more fees for the airline. United Airlines contends that by ensuring that compliance, all passengers will have space available in the overhead bins. The last passengers boarding an aircraft have routinely found no room left for their bags and have been forced to check them in as regular luggage.
United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said the enforcement was meant to address customer complaints. Too many late arriving passengers have been forced to check in their bags due to a lack of overhead space.
The airline is likely to financially benefit if more passengers are turned back at security and forced to pay the $25 baggage fee. Brian Kelly, a writer and industry watcher for ThePointsGuy.com believes new the enforcement program by United is a drive for extra revenue. The new process will most likely delay the boarding process even further unless United provides a better education process for passengers.
The best way to stop oversized baggage from entering the aircraft is at check-in where the passengers can be informed of the new rules instead of at the security check in area. Having fewer bags on board a plane is good for passengers. Brian admits to been whacked more than a few times when people load their possessions into the overhead compartments. Those heavier items tend to shift during a flight and can come tumbling down when someone opens the latch either during flight or when the plane lands.
United Airlines collected $638 million in checked-bag fees last year and could increase that average to $700 million with its new rule. Other plans to increase revenue are the sale of extra legroom sections and quiet sections of the plan free from cell phone use and crying children. United Airlines an enforcement carry-on luggage rules are the airline’s latest attempt to expedite passenger boarding and ensure everyone has a place for their carry-on luggage.
By Brian T. Yates