Attention, luggage bin hogs. Airline officials are wielding a new weapon in the fight against oversized carry-on baggage.
The tool: a plastic screen with an 11-by-17-inch hole, set on the conveyor belt of the security scanning machine. The rule: If it doesn't fit, you must check it.
"This way it makes it fair to everyone," said Weda Faizi, customer service manager at Southwest Airlines' terminal in Oakland, where, along with San Diego, Southwest is testing the screen.
Passenger response was decidedly mixed. Oakland traveler Mark Go, who was able to muscle his well-stuffed, soft-sided bag through the hole, said "obviously, it's good from a business point of view. From a consumer point of view, it's definitely annoying."
Paul Anaya, whose wheeled carry-on didn't fit, said, "I think it's ridiculous. The flight I am going on right now is not even half-full."
The cargo embargo is part of an industrywide crackdown. A similar screen went up earlier this year in New York's La Guardia Airport.