Photo (cc) by sirexkat
Tired of standing in a cramped plane aisle, held up by a passenger trying to cram an obnoxiously large bag into one of United Airlines’ overhead bins?
United Airlines has heard your grumblings. The Chicago-based airline says it’s now strictly enforcing its longstanding baggage rules. Until now, enforcement was sporadic, at best.
Most travelers’ reactions to this news? It’s about time.
“Good,” said a commenter on a TripAdvisor forum. “May they all follow suit as this needs the weight of unanimous enforcement. Long overdue.”
Others expressed mock outrage that the airline would enforce its already published policy. “This is an utter disgrace,” one comment reads. “I thought it was my right to board a UA flight with a kitchen sink under my arm. I didn’t think these rules would ever apply to me.”
Some passengers have reportedly suggested that this is a move by United to collect more baggage fees. But United said it’s simply an effort to streamline the boarding process and avoid unnecessary delays.
“The stepped-up enforcement is to address the customers who complained about having bags within the size limit and weren’t able to take them on the plane,” United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said. “That is solely what this is about.”
New bag-sizing boxes have been installed in airport lobbies and gate areas. Carry-on bags can measure 9 by 14 by 22 inches, including handles and wheels. Bigger bags will have to be checked, for a $25 fee.You can find United’s baggage policy here.
The Associated Press says United collects $638 million in checked-bag fees a year. “In a January earnings call, the airline’s chief revenue officer, Jim Compton, said United hopes to collect an extra $700 million over the next four years from extras such as baggage fees and the sale of extra legroom,” AP said.
The airline will continue to allow passengers to bring one bag and a personal item on board for free.
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