It’s a scene every traveller is familiar with: a passenger struggles to jam an overstuffed carry on bag into the aeroplane’s overhead bin, delaying the boarding process and sometimes the plane’s departure itself.
Spud Hilton, a travel editor for The San Francisco Chronicle, is so fed up with these types of travellers that he launched a new campaign to publicly shame over-packers.
Hilton asked people to take photos and videos of these egregious packers and post them on Instagram, Twitter and Vine with the hashtag #CarryonShame.
“The real issue is the attitude and the denial,” Hilton wrote of these over-packers. “They stand in line at the airport, 2 feet from the airline’s carry-on sizer rack, clearly transporting the entire cast wardrobe for ‘Beach Blanket Babylon’ (including the hats). Then they walk past the gate agents with an air of entitlement that says, ‘Those silly rules don’t apply to me.'”
Hilton’s campaign has already gone viral, and people have started to upload photos to Twitter.
Hilton argues that this campaign is important because these over-packers are delaying flights and contributing to a much more unpleasant flying experience for everyone.
“If it were just passengers rationalizing their behaviour as trying to cheat the airline out of checked baggage fees (or fliers just trying to save money), we wouldn’t care,” Hilton wrote. “But the increasingly aggressive disregard for the size standards — which has led to flight delays, a much longer boarding process, abusive passengers, and increased theft from gate-checked bags — also is disregard for everyone else on the plane. When your steamer trunk inconveniences someone else, there’s no excuse for that.”
This campaign comes on the heels of news that several major airlines, including American Airlines, United, and Delta, recently reduced the size limitations of carry on bags.
It’s getting increasingly difficult to fly without getting hit with excessive fees: most airlines charge for checked bags and some airlines, like Frontier, have started charging for carry on bags, too.
Although over-packers are inconveniencing other passengers, they may be doing it simply to save time and money by avoiding the hassle of checking the bag. And if that’s the case, being called out with #CarryonShame seems a little harsh.