Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Carry-on Airport

No, not the name of a film starring Babs, Kenneth and Sid, but an observation at a trend in our airports. For quite a while air travellers have tried to avoid the wait at the baggage reclaim areas by optimising their overnight inventory and shoe horning it into the largest bag they can get away with as carry-on. A whole new genre of bags have been developed to just come in under the airline rules (plus whatever smiling sweetly will let you get away with).

Now, the low cost airlines are set to accelerate the phenomenon by charging extra for hold baggage and encouraging us to jam everything into the overhead lockers. Makes perfect business sense. Baggage systems and the associated costs of handling bags is not trivial. Add in the fact that laptops need to be separated at the scanners and things are starting to spiral.

Already it has got to the point where I select my queue at the security based on who is statistically likely to be carrying their worldly goods in their flight bag- tutting at whoever can't do without conditioner for just one night or scoffing at those who have not down sized from a brush to a comb. A short comb at that. I'm also used to protecting my head when my plane has landed at the destination and said bags are swung out of the overhead bins. I can't complain, I'm one of these air warriors. I admit to being able to cram my overnight goodies into a space the size of an ice cream tub (Wall's, not Ben & Jerry's- who do you think I am, Gandhi?). However, I dread the logical conclusion this is all heading towards for the air travel experience.

I wonder what the space in the holds of aircraft will be used for in the future? Will aircraft design change with the times?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the redundant luggage hold could be converted to first-class sleeping accommodation!