Re: Carry-ons

From: (A. E. Siegman)
Organization: Stanford University
Date:         10 Jan 96 02:01:44 
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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[Cross-posting to sci.aeronautics.airliners because I believe
this one message has some relevance to airliner design.]

     I believe that at the core of this whole problem is the
technological fact that modern airliners can efficiently and
effectively carry considerably more weight -- or technically
speaking more density -- than is represented by the density
of human beings.  In other words, the average plane probably
could carry even more passengers than are now squeezed in, if
there were just some way to cram them in (leading to design
horrors like the 757).

     If this were not the case, airlines could install some
kind of large luggage bins or lockers just inside the doorways
and allow passengers to just jump their bulkier carryons into
them as they entered the plane.  Sure, there would be problems,
such as slowing down the deplaning process, and bags on the
bottom getting squished; but many of us would use such a
system in preference to underseat storage if it were available.

     The primary reason this is impractical, however, is that
it would cost seats, whereas overhead luggage bins do not.  In
fact to the extent that airlines can motivate passengers to use
carryon luggage and overhead bins, they both save on baggage
handling costs and free up some space in the luggage holds
which they may even be able to sell for freight or mail carriage
(I don't know if any airlines really count on this, but would
be interested to hear from anyone who knows).

     Perhaps the solution would be to eliminate the _overhead_
bins (or make them so small that they would accept only purses,
pillows and coats); raise the passenger seats a foot or so above
the aisle level; and put the "overhead" luggage bins _under_ the
seats (requiring suitcases to be slid in from the aisle).  This
would certainly solve the turbulence safety problem; and the
added inconvenience would sure help cut down on the excessive
carry-on problem.

     Might be an interesting idea...