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Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,091 posts
244 reviews
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Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

On a recent flight I had a bulkhead seat so I was forced to put both of my carry-on itmes in overhead storage. The gentlemen sitting next to me boarded late. He removed my bag from the compartment over my head and moved it seven rows back. That bag was my handbag and it contained currency and medication. I put it above my head so I could get it quickly once the plane reached altitude and so I could keep my eyes on it during take-off and landing.

I objected to this gentleman moving my bag in such a presumptive fashion. He had a very large and very heavy bag that did consume all of one over-head storage bin. His response was that my bags were smaller and therefore easier to wedge into space further back in the plane.

I said nothing more, and when the plane reached altitude I went back to the storage bin and retrieved my bag. I do not, however, think it appropriate behavior on his part. He could have boarded the plane when I did and then he would have had more choices about where to put his luggage. I rather think that when you are the last to board you cannot move the luggage of another person. Am I incorrect?

Hampshire England
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5,457 posts
89 reviews
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1. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

IMO he should have at least asked Cabin Crew if he could move it.

Perhaps he moved passengers along to suit his seat as well if he was a large gentleman? Of course not :(

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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2. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

I agree, his tough luck for having a bag that would not fit. Downright rude on his part. If you had not gotten your bag back you would have had to wiat until the entire plane deplaned so you go go back down the aisle to get it back. HE should have strolled down the aisle to find a bin to stuff HIS bag in and I would have insisted upon it had he tried that with me.

I have had people try to use the first or second bin past the entry so they could just pick up their bag on the way out. If I am sitting there I hand it back and say you forgot your bag.

If I pay for a seat I fully expect part of the overhead over my seat to be mine regardless of how big or small my carry on it.

Berkshire, United...
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for Prague, Bohemia
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3. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

I would have screamed blue murder if someone touched my handbag.

Leicester, United...
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1,280 posts
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4. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

"If I pay for a seat I fully expect part of the overhead over my seat to be mine..."

That is impossible. Someone has to lose out. The average locker on, say, a 737, extends over two rows of three seats each and has room for maybe four bags. Where do the other two people's bags go?

No, it's first come first served. Assuming the bag is no larger than regulation size, you have no right to move someone else's bag if they got there first.

Edited: 21 December 2012, 17:02
San Diego
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for San Diego
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59,042 posts
66 reviews
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5. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

In general one bag goes in the overhead and the smaller "personal item" goes under your seat. The problem in this case is that your purse could not go under the seat since it was a bulkhead. Noone moves my purse with money/meds etc. I probably would not have booked the bulkhead knowing that there would be no room to keep it safely near me but in any case I would have gotten up and just held onto it and then put it somewhere myself instead of letting a stranger move it!

Palmetto, Florida
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5,146 posts
15 reviews
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6. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

That was rude not to ask your permission/consent. I would have asked FA to put it somewhere closer.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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9,446 posts
53 reviews
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7. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

LeicsLad - never said I would move someone's bag but if someone NOT sitting in my row tries to use it I will say something. Typically I pick the second row of coach (if not upgraded to First) because I am tall and do not want to put my laptop under the seat in front of me. I would have no place for my feet if I did. I may not stick my bag in the overhead right away but that does not give anyone not sitting in my row the right to cram their bag in there period.

Pay the $25 or whatever and check the bag, problem solved.

Edited: 21 December 2012, 18:08
Leicester, United...
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1,280 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

BrightonBill what I am saying is that you are *not* entitled to a specific space (or indeed any space) in the overhead lockers. There is simply not enough room above any given row for everyone sitting in that row to find space immediately above their seats.

Therefore anyone is free to place a bag anywhere there is room for it. If that means that subsequent passengers have no room above their seats, they will need to find somewhere else for their bags.

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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9. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

You should never touch someone's bag without their permission. In the future, find an FA, or better yet, the purser, and have them deal with this. This is why I don't choose seats without overhead storage.

Iowa
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9,805 posts
38 reviews
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10. Re: Etiquette Question Overhead Storage

I would have objected immediately. He would not have gotten far with my bag of cash, or bag of anything for that matter. Rude indeed. What made him think he was entitled to that space and could just move your bag? Some people.....