Travel Light, Board Early

I flew American recently and was permitted to board earlier than my assigned zone because I had only a small carry-on that fit under the seat. I really liked that.

A recent Associated Press article describes the logic behind the new AA policy and explains other strategies that other airlines are testing as a means to speed up the boarding process.

The article doesn’t mention it, so please allow me to point out that the boarding process slowed down substantially when the airlines* imposed checked bag fees. Passengers now feel impelled to overstuff their carry-on bags, which then can’t be wedged into the overhead bins without a crowbar and a barrel of grease, which means the line backs up down the jetway while the passenger flails away at the American Tourister until a flight attendant confiscates it and gate checks it.

And I can’t blame the offending passenger because I’ll do the same to save $25, if I have to. And there’s actually no point to pointing that out because those fees will never, ever go away. But I feel a little better for reminding everyone of whose fault this is.

*Except Southwest and JetBlue.

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