THANKS for Jane Engle's article on overhead luggage ["An Overhaul Due for Oversized Bags in Overstuffed Bins?" Travel Insider, Feb. 26].
I have seen almost everything short of a crate of chickens placed up there. You closed saying that Transportation Security Administration is exploring alternatives. TSA's track record does not make this a promising statement.
The only solution is for the airlines and airports to solve the checked luggage problem. Checking is not so much the problem as is retrieval; LAX is particularly bad. In my experience, the waits are often 30 to 45 minutes.
I really think that if we had reasonable service in baggage claim, limitations on carry-ons would not be a problem.
\o7Rancho Palos Verdes\f7\o7
AS a flight attendant, I just wanted to let you in on a "secret" as to why airlines cannot enforce a carry-on rule: Airlines do not have the personnel to handle all the baggage, and letting customers carry their own saves money.
If passengers ever decided as a group to check all their baggage, the airlines would be overwhelmed. We just don't have the capacity and manpower to handle and sort through that much baggage. The system would come to a halt.
So although the flight attendants unions may be politically screaming for relief, the truth of the matter is that the airlines couldn't operate any other way.
And who are the biggest offenders of carry-on items? Flight attendants. Next time you're at LAX, take a gander at the amount of baggage flight attendants carry. I work with some who carry three bags for a one-night stay.
\f7I just submitted the following to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). I'd like you to see it as well.
Sen. Stevens, I have read that you favor strong universal restrictions on carry-on bags on airplanes.
I urge you to reconsider.
The size of an airline's or an individual airplane's overhead bins and under-seat storage areas vary and can even be a competitive differentiator.
Government enforcement of universal limits would interfere with commerce.
Let the market work this out with, at most, generous maximums set in code to avoid ridiculous problems such as someone walking on board with a 50-plus-pound carry-on bag.
Perhaps use the existing customer satisfaction reports to pressure airlines that do not enforce their own quantity and size rules and therefore produce delays and customer problems.
But don't stop me from carrying on my not-overstuffed 22-by-8-by-11-inch roll-aboard (which fits neatly in all mainline aircraft overhead bins) and my laptop bag (which fits underneath all mainline aircraft seats).