In various threads at a.net over the years, there have been many discussions about the rules of carry-on luggage, and how airlines have turned a blind eye much of the time to those passengers that go "above and beyond" what the rules state is allowable. However, since the almost nation-wide implementation of the charge for a first bag, the volume of carry-on luggage has reached almost ludicrous amountd (I still can't believe how long it takes to get a plane boarded and unboarded!!).
The rules are that the carry-on bag is supposed to have a maximum volume - x inches by y inches by z inches, otherwise it is supposed to be checked, and that passengers may have one carry-on plus one personal item. In a perfect world, these rules would be uniformly implemented and enforced.
Have the airlines started stricter enforcement of these rules?
Whose responsibility is it to notice when a passenger shows up with too much or too large of a carry-on? Check-in agents? Gate agents? Flight attendants?
Are frequent flyers getting a pass on their oversized luggage while "Joe Six-Pack" has to check something? (Not to be critical of the frequent flyer, but some "elites" use their status frequently to push things through that otherw would not be allowed!)
What happens to the poor soul that is last to board but finds that bin hogs have taken all the space, and while he has followed the rules, he is asked to check a bag? Is he just out of luck?
My personal opinion is that the already laborious process of boarding and unboarding - prior to the checked bag fees - has become even more ludicrous, and will lead to even more frayed nerves and tempers. My only flight since this fee was added made one group, the flight attendants, solely responsible for making everything fit, whether people were bin hogs or not.
However, IF the fee is here to stay (and it probably will be), then I think it is incumbent upon the airline to do everything they can to fairly implement the rules and let people know at the earliest possible moment of what can and cannot be taken on the plane. I think right now it is MUCH more difficult than it needs to be, and regardless of how much a person paid or their status with an airline, the same standard needs to be applied to all.
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