As I was visiting family over the last holiday season, I couldn't help but watch my 2-year-old nephew play with his toys. It was so cute watching him play with his shape sorter toy. There he was, stubborn as all get out, trying to put a rectangular shape into a square hole. He was determined to get his block into the hole. It was adorable and at one point quite humorous and I couldn't help but think of all the times I have watched passengers who are determined to put their oversized bags into the overhead bins. There they are shoving, pushing, pulling, and losing their balance because their bag is too heavy or too big for the bins. Trust me, I used to be just as guilty of this anyone else. Instead of packing smarter, I crossed my fingers for a -700 aircraft (which has more overhead bin space than our -300 and -500 aircraft).
But with research I'm currently doing with a group of people tasked with improving the efficiency of our airport operations, I've seen first hand the correlation between our boarding time and the amount and size of our carry-ons. So next time you're packing for a flight, pack smarter not "fuller". Check out the latest great invention in travel bags, the space saver bags for the busy traveler. I'm a committed user and they really do work and give you the space you need so you don't have to expand your carryon bag! Southwest.com has some helpful information too. Now if only we can keep the small carryon items out of the bins, but I guess that's a different post.