While returning home from the Site Network Uptime event that was held in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to watch something the travel media has been commenting on for some time. Now that a number of airlines are charging a fee for even the first bag that is checked, travelers are bringing more and more luggage onto the aircraft. This has created slow boarding processes and a great deal of stress.
While boarding my flight, I saw every overhead compartment fill up roughly a third of the way into the boarding process. Frequent fliers, being allowed to board first, saw their luggage safely stored and the occasional traveler and traveling families were left "holding the bag" so to speak.
When a person can't find a place for his/her roll-aboard bag, there really is no easy way for that person to return to the front of the line to check their luggage. The aisle is packed full of other travelers trying to find their seat and store their own luggage. So, traffic bunches up in the aisle and cabin crew has to intervene to set things right.
The airlines, as usual, want to blame the traveling public rather than looking at the real cause of this problem. The real blame clearly falls on the airline itself for over booking flights and deciding to charge a fee for checking bags. The combination of these two policies not only irritates travelers because they feel that they've become sardines and because they're being nickel and dimed to death.
Because there are more people crammed into aircraft and because of these new fees, the flights are full all of the time and a majority of passengers are carrying luggage on board. So, the boarding takes longer and tempers flare when a bag can't be accommodated in the overhead compartments.
If the airlines would rescind these ill conceived policies, many travelers would check their bags rather than trying to bring that vespa they purchased while traveling to some island paradise on board.