Flying with Carry-on Bags

On my last couple of flights, I was able to keep everything packed in one carry-on bag.  No checking!  I like that.  But here’s the problem: now that most airlines are charging for checked bags, everyone is bringing carry-on bags!

And the trouble is that if you are one of the people boarding after many have gotten on the plane, you may have to check your carry-on anyway.  I don’t think they’ll charge, but it just stinks.  Thankfully I haven’t had to give up a carry-on to be checked.  One reason I don’t like that is because I often have things in there I want with me: books, computer, snacks, etc.

Well here’s a couple tips for you if you are flying and trying to get it all in your carry-on:


  1. Katherine Lee, aka the “Delta-safety-video girl” or “Deltalina” gives some tips on how to pack a small carry-on.
  2. Book a good seat.
  3. Put your bag wheels-first in the overhead. Not sideways.  I had to turn a couple other people’s bags so mine would fit.
  4. Plan to put something small under your seat. On a full flight, the overhead is for the big carry-ons.
  5. Put your coat somewhere else.
It’s just crazy how many people are tring to squeeze so much stuff into carry-on bags then spread out all of there stuff in the overhead.  Just use some common sense and common courtesy.  It’s not all that difficult to do.  I promise.


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  • No, actually it doesn’t stink if you do it intentionally. If you don’t mind checking a bag and would rather not pay the fee, simply get on board late and ask them to check your bag, thus avoiding the fee AND the carousel. Bring a small carry on for items to keep you entertained in flight. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it should work.

  • rob

    @Jerry – yes, if that’s your intention. It’s not mine. If I have a carry-on, I usually need it with me or has stuff in it I don’t want to be stowed in cargo. And when people take all the space for their coat and small bags when others want to put their only bag up there, it stinks.