Passengers who board American Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Orlando may notice that the overhead bins on the new Airbus A321 Neo planes have more luggage space — 40% more to be exact.
The world’s biggest carrier has added six of the new Airbus planes with plans for seven more by the end of the year, bringing a total of 70 Neo planes into the fleet over the next several years. Other airlines, including Delta and Alaska, are also adding Airbus and Boeing aircraft that come with larger overhead compartments.
Airlines are promoting the bigger bins as an effort to ease the frustration of passengers who can’t find space to stow their carry-on luggage. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to let passengers stuff the roomier bins with more or bigger bags: None plan to ease carry-on bag restrictions, and Alaska Airlines last year reduced the maximum size of carry-on luggage by 32%.
Instead, travel experts say, carriers are addressing a problem they created over the last decade by charging to check luggage and cramming more seats into each cabin to boost profits. The luggage fees prompted fliers to pack more into carry-on bags to avoid checking suitcases; the extra seats mean additional passengers and, thus, more carry-on bags.
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