Luggage: from Carry on to Cargo

I am sure many people have seen the Air Canada video of the baggage handler dropping luggage from the plane to the baggage cart, rather than walking 15-20 individual pieces of heavy bags, down the flight of stairs, and it’s raised some concerns for people’s personal items, inside of that luggage. There needs to be awareness as to the reasons why those bags were not allowed on as carry on luggage and removed from the plane, at the gate to be put into the cargo hold.

The bottom line is that as flying has become more accessible and financially viable, more people are travelling. Unfortunately, many are over packing when they travel and try to avoid paying for the additional fees associated with that. The size of a standard suitcase has increased to meet the demand of the travelling consumer to bring more personal items with them. The weight of these bags has increased to the point that all airlines now have weight restrictions and size limitations for their passengers. The baggage handlers have unions that stipulate how heavy a bag can be before it is labelled with a sticker informing them of the potential risk that bag poses and in many instances, it will require 2 attendants to move 1 piece of over weight luggage for their personal safety.

Because the airlines now charge for overweight bags and for extra luggage, their guests have increasingly brought more and more items on-board the plane as part of their free allotment, as carry on items. The carry on bags have gotten so big that there are now strict measurement guidelines for each airline because of people’s abusing the privilege. The overhead bins on an aircraft can easily accommodate the baggage of all the guests, if they all comply with the regulations. Unfortunately, some people think the rules do not apply to their family.

When guests sneak their over sized carry-ons and pack an oversized beach bag and call it a purse, past the counter attendants and onto a plane, then what happens is the bins fill up and not all passengers can fit their carry-on’s inside the cabin with them. If the flight attendants miss it at the check in counter, they can catch it at the gate and remove the piece of luggage from the passenger to have it stowed with the other luggage in the belly of the craft. This results in a delay in departure as the baggage handlers must be called then re-assigned to the task of retrieving these items, which need to go inside the cargo bin with the other luggage of this size and weight.

This removal of those heavy bags is for the safety of all passengers on board in case there is an emergency. If it can’t fit safely in the bin or under the seat, then it can not stay inside of the plane. Removing over sized luggage from a passenger’s possession, that should have been paid for to be checked, is not done as a punitive measure towards the guest but as a safety concern for everyone on-board. The airlines can not risk other passengers safety for an individuals convenience.

If you do not want to risk the removal of your carry on bag, then it is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure the size and weight compliance is met or your bag will be removed and will be treated like any other checked piece of baggage, regardless of its contents. If you want the privilege of bringing extra items with you on your trip, then you have to pay for it and safeguard your own belongings to ensure their safe transport while being handled.

If you do not want to pay the additional fee for extra luggage and risk having your over sized and over weight items taken from you at the gate anyway, then the responsibility for their damage is a risk you assume when you do not pay for them to be handled properly. People who travel must come to understand that compliance to size and weight guidelines is strictly enforced now and it is not worth the risk of damage to delicate items on gambling that you may save the excess baggage fees. Your only other option is to reevaluate what you need for the duration of your trip, and while in transit, and pack differently the next time.

The baggage handlers in the video, handled the removal of excess cargo from the gate to the ramp, for appropriate storage in the cargo hold, in accordance with their union directive and guidelines. While it may have been disconcerting for the owners of the items to watch the bags drop the 20 feet to the padded cart, and have some of them miss the landing bag, be reminded that you can not control the descent of an item that has uneven weight distribution.

Any damage that may have occurred to any items inside of those bags was entirely preventable, if the owners of that luggage had paid the excess luggage or weight fees and checked the bags at the counter and only brought the allowed size and weight carry-on bag, containing any delicate or valuable item inside, while boarding the plane. The rules governing size and weight restrictions on the interior of the plane for luggage are there for everyone’s safety and need to be adhered to, or the resulting consequences may include damaged bags or property, when the offending items are removed.


About travelonlywithjodi

As a Canadian living in a country of such great diversity, the experience of vacationing throughout the world brings you a deep appreciation for the beautiful world around us as well. Spending money on travel is like investing in your soul. Be inspired. TravelOnly with Jodi.
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