Home Luggage The evolution of the upper cabin compartments has improved the flight experience

The evolution of the upper cabin compartments has improved the flight experience

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Historically, overhead compartments filled up quickly because the volume of passengers outnumbered the space available for carry-on luggage, causing problems for travelers and flight crews.

Luggage in a conventional luggage compartment

Robert Paul van beets / Shutterstock


Source: The Wall Street Journal

While these options were viable, not everyone wanted to pay extra for the trash space that was supposedly guaranteed with the ticket, and the false hope was a disappointment to passengers who had to carry their luggage to the before the plane to have the boarding gate checked.

Passengers load their luggage into luggage bins

Passengers load their luggage into luggage compartments

NikomMaelao Production / Shutterstock


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Checking at the boarding gate can be a major inconvenience not only for passengers but also for cabin crew. The process of moving and tagging a bag adds time to the boarding process, causing last minute flight delays and stress for flight attendants.

Two flight attendants chat in a nearly empty cabin on a Delta Airlines flight


REUTERS / Jim Urquhart


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Additionally, stubborn passengers sometimes damaged the luggage or the trash cans themselves while trying to break their luggage into an already full trash can, taking up more of the limited boarding time.

A flight attendant helps passengers put their luggage in the overhead compartment

A flight attendant helps passengers put their luggage in the overhead compartment

lunopark / Shutterstock


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Then the problem was exacerbated when airlines like JetBlue started charging for checked baggage, so more passengers opted to bring free hand baggage, further exacerbating the airspace crisis. .

JetBlue Airways luggage

JetBlue passengers checking their baggage

Chris O’Meara / AP


Source: The Wall Street Journal

In response to this problem, Boeing and Airbus designed large overhead compartments capable of holding twice as many bags as previous models.

Airbus employees working on the Airspace XL ferry

Airbus employees working on the Airspace XL ferry

Airbus


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Boeing’s 60-inch Space Bins can hold 50% more baggage, including up to six full-size bags, two more than its Sky Interior swivel bins seen on many new-generation Boeing 737s.

Standard bin vs space bin

Standard bin vs space bin

Boeing


Source: Boeing

According to Boeing, the Space Bins are placed two inches lower in the cabin, which reduces headroom, but has a lower rim, making it easier for passengers to see the back of the bin and making it easier to load bags.

Boeing space containers

Boeing space containers

Boeing


Source: Boeing

In addition, the ferries will speed up the boarding and turnaround processes and provide peace of mind to passengers worried about finding superior storage space for their carry-on luggage.

Boeing space ferry

Boeing space ferry

Boeing


Source: Boeing

Boeing has said its Space Bins are an option for airlines, but about half of its MAX jets have the largest bins installed.

Fly on American Airlines Boeing 737 Max.

American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: Boeing, The Wall Street Journal

Airbus came up with a similar design known as the Airspace XL trash can that can carry eight bags vertically, which is 60% more capacity compared to current models.

Airbus Airspace XL ferries

Airbus Airspace XL ferries

Airbus


Source: Airbus

The bin “emphasizes the space and storage capacity of the cabin”, according to Airbus.

Airbus Airspace XL ferries

Airbus Airspace XL ferries

Airbus


Source: Airbus

Airlines like Alaska and American have welcomed improvements to Boeing and Airbus air compartments, with Alaska having launched its Boeing Space Bins six years ago and now having them on 56% of its fleet. The company said that number will increase as more planes are delivered.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Alaska Airlines cabin

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: Airbus

Alaska has also fitted its 79 Boeing 737-900ERs with Space Bins, increasing its baggage capacity from 134 to 199.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max flight

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft interior

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: The Wall Street Journal

“It was a tangible improvement for customers,” said Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and customer experience for Alaska. “I think it was a game changer when we started it in terms of ease of boarding, stress for guests, stress for boarding agents and flight attendants.”

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max flight

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, American Airlines, which has large bins on two-thirds of its narrow-body planes, has outfitted its 737 MAX 8 planes with Space Bins, which offer enough room for 178 bags. That’s more than enough for the 172 passengers the plane can carry.

Fly on American Airlines Boeing 737 Max.

American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: The Wall Street Journal

“We know for a fact that we have gone from non-preferred to preferred on a good corporate account over the past two months because we have 66% [of the narrow-body fleet with big bins]”Taylor said.” It’s so important to travelers. “

Fly on American Airlines Boeing 737 Max.

Baggage bin American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Source: The Wall Street Journal


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