Carry-on bags and overhead bins: ‘I have met the enemy, and it is I.’ Or is it?

Too short - Overhead bin help - Illustration by Renaud Vigourt for the Times.
Readers respond what they do with their carry ons and whether or not ask for help aboard the plane.
(Renaud Vigourt / For The Times)

Regarding “The Fallout Over Carry-ons,” On the Spot, by Catharine Hamm, April 14: I have no sympathy for little old ladies who cannot put a piece of luggage in an overhead bin. I have met the enemy and it is I. I am old and short.

I check my bags for that reason. My carry-on fits under my seat. Otherwise I pay.

Sorry, old ladies like me. That is what you have to do to travel. The flight attendant in first or economy class is not your servant.

- Mary Kay Prather, Glendale



I have noticed that on U.S. airlines flight attendants will never help you get your carry-on bag into the overhead compartment — even in business class and even when there is a tall and strong flight attendant.

By comparison, the flight attendants on European and Asian airlines will always try to help you, even though some of them are petite and do not look that strong.

I understand that there may be a liability issue involved, but it is more than that. Flight attendants on U.S. airlines seem less service oriented. This is also true for hotels in the U.S. as compared to hotels in Europe and Asia, where people will go out of their way to help.


- Christopher Shih, Torrance


If you can’t lift the carry-on bag on tour own, you should check it. I’m a guy in my mid-50s who has had shoulder injuries. If someone asked me to lift a bag, it would leave me in a difficult position. Do I apologize and say no or try to help her and risk injury?

The right thing to do is pack lighter or check it.

- K Higman, Santa Ana


The airline should waive checked-bag fees for seniors. I am a 5-foot-tall, slight senior woman and cannot lift my carry-on bag. I always check the bag for my health so I do not need to inconvenience another passenger to lift it.

- Celeste DeCoudres, Pasadena