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In-flight Baggage Scrum: Here's How to Win

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It is war in the aisles, don't think it's not, as today's flyers scramble for overhead bin space to stash their carry-on luggage.

Baltimore public relations consultant Jean Miskimon knows. She had even ponied up $40 for "an upgrade seat" but when she attempted to board, she was told, no more room for bags. "They stopped taking them two people in front of me," she said. So she had to gate check her bag - and then "deal with baggage claim at O"Hare!"

That is becoming a fact of life as more of us scramble to duck checked baggage fees, typically around $25 apiece. Matters get worse as temperatures dip, because winter coats take up lots of overhead bin space. So if you thought it was bad in July, wait until December (and don't even think about the Xmas crush when people are stashing gift-wrapped presents in the bins too).

Thus the pointed question: are there ways to win at this scrum, and let's not even mention flying business or first class, where yes, overhead bin space is plentiful. And don't tell a frustrated traveler that if he had elite status on the airline, he would get to board first, when overhead bins are empty. None of that is useful, because if we had elite status, or flew first class, we wouldn't be grumbling at all, would we now?

Yet there are proven ways to win out, to just about always succeed in stashing one's bag in the plane's cabin. How?

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