He Stored His Carry-On In a Bin Rows Ahead of His Seat. It Didn’t End Well

by SharonKurheg

We’ve all seen people do it. They have a seat far in the back of the plane, but store their 22x14x9 inch carry-on bag in an overhead compartment as close to the front of the plane as possible. I even used to have a Facebook friend (someone I used to work with) who thought he was so clever for doing this.

I always figure most of the people who leave their carry on bags rows ahead of their seats don’t want the inconvenience of having to carry their bag to row 37 or wherever they’re sitting. I also personally think doing it is kind of selfish. It eventually means that for whoever is in the row Mx. Back Of The Plane’s extra bag is, there’s a decent chance there won’t be enough room for all of their own stuff and they’ll most likely have to look for space behind them (which makes for all kinds of fun when people are disembarking).

A Reddit user named Funkyyfish brought up that very topic the other day, in one of the website’s subreddits (read: subcategories) called “/mildlyinfuriating.” Here’s what he wrote:

Guy took my Carry-on bag thinking it was his… he pried it open, broke the locks, and brought it back to Delta like this the next day with no note or anything.

He included 2 photos:

a silver suitcase with a handle

The guy admittedly didn’t sound as if he was one of “those” people. He explained that his seat was in the very back of the plane but he was in Main Cabin 2 – heck, he’s lucky there was still room in the overhead at ALL), there was no room over or near his own seat, so he had to put his bag a bin 3/4 of the way back.

Funkyyfish said he noticed the guy at the gate had the same bag as him. He said, “…and the thought crossed my mind – ‘hey this dude could accidentally grab your bag’ but again I have a band on the handle and a lock. So when we deboarded my bag wasn’t there but his was… I chased after but he was gone. Went straight to baggage claim and turned his in.

“You would think the bag looking different (his had a stickers and multiple checked bag tags from previous flights) and the whole lock code not working would have been obvious indicators.”

Funkyyfish’s complaint was that the guy broke the lock, rummaged through his stuff, and then didn’t have the decency to even leave a note when he returned the bag to the airline the next day. He was also unhappy that Delta claimed they couldn’t help him (“Sorry sir, this isn’t a Delta issue; this is between you and the passenger”). So he was stuck with a ruined bag.

The 500+ replies to the post generally went in one of two directions:

  • trying to psychoanalyze the guy who took the wrong bag, broke the lock, rummaged through the stuff and brought it back to Delta
  • all the different ways to “mark” a bag so it’s obvious “not yours” (he really should have one of these on his bag – NO ONE would take it then. But of the suggestions, my favorite was to get something that says “NOT YOUR BAG.” 😉

Granted, Funkyyfish’s reasoning for storing his bag “not above his seat” doesn’t appear to be self-serving; his was one of the latter groups called and he said the only space he could find was 15 rows ahead of his seat. Either way, it’s a really good example of why, if you CAN have your bags in the overhead directly in front of you, you should. Besides not potentially not leaving room for the people in front of you, you run the risk of someone taking your bag, either on purpose or not, simply because you can’t see it.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


First Class Flyer August 30, 2022 - 5:04 pm

That is why (because I always fly in first class) when I see it done, I grab the bag, give it to a flight attendant and ask them to check it in baggage. When they return with the baggage claim, I calmly go to the loo and flush it down the toilet.

jsn55 August 30, 2022 - 5:39 pm

Yes, I’ve noticed this on my last two flights. The message is loud and clear: the airline’s priority of an on-time departure far outweighs the value of any pax’ valuables. Sums it up pretty good, huh? Much easier to do it this way than have the gate people call a ‘special officer’ to tell the pax their bag needs to be gate-checked. In today’s climate of airport hostility, I can’t blame the GAs for not wanting to be attacked by the pax. Let a professional take the heat from irate pax.

Ray Sharradh August 31, 2022 - 7:53 am

While I agree with never placing fragiles in the overhead compartment, the space under the seat in front of me is for my feet, not my hand luggage. An inability to move one’s lower legs on a long flight is a scientifically proven risk factor for deep vein thrombosis. And not even considering DVT, I find it supremely uncomfortable not to be able to shift my lower legs, and I prefer not to stroll the aisles and becoming a nuisance for the in-flight crew and my fellow passengers.


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