Dondra Nichelle is a 25 year veteran flight attendant who offers us her wisdom so that we may travel with fewer hassles.

I have been asked, “Why is there never enough room for my bag? Everyone seems to have room, but when I get on the plane, there is no room for my bag in the overhead bin.”  I normally smile and say, “I did it on purpose, because I hate you.” (This is a joke, and if you have a huge joker smile that takes up your entire face like I do, you can get away with this. Especially if you laugh a lot!)

But let’s look at it: the overhead bin normally takes up the same amount of space as 2 to 2 1/2 rows of passenger seats. So, on a single aisle plane, you’re looking at five to eight passengers per one overhead bin space. When you calculate that the bin can hold approximately 3 roller board (wheelie suitcases) suitcases stowed properly (wheels or handles first- c’mon, you hear us say it like a gazillion times during boarding!) or two suitcases stowed haphazardly, and maybe a backpack and a coat –  that leaves a lot of bags with no place to go.

Overhead Bin

Thankfully, most hipsters travel with only a backpack that can, in a pinch, fit under their seat. So, factor in the hipster ratio and you’re looking at three people just in that row who are basically shit outta luck with the overhead bin space. Then, figure there are like 20 rows per plane . . . ta dah! Shit outta luck!


1. Swear at the crew.
2. Throw other people’s luggage out of the bin.
3. Attack other passengers.
4. Trash talk the airline you are on loudly, as if magically the suitcases will be vanquished and you will have space for your bag. (This almost never works.)
5. Throw a tantrum and ask the crew what they are going to do with your bag. This may also sound like: “What do you want me to do with my bag?” You do not want to know the answer.


1. Become a frequent flyer with all their special perks.
2. Pick an airline and join their credit card program – some of the perks are free checked in bags.
3. When picking your seats, consider zone 1 or zone 2. Those who get on first normally have room for their bags.
4. Stow your bags correctly, and if you see a bag in the bin that is not correctly stowed, flip it to the right position. Don’t be a douche. Just flip it.
5. Imagine not carrying a bag that has to go in the overhead bin. Visualize it, bring that into your reality, and travel just like that!
6. When the gate agent offers to check it, let them.
7. When the flight attendant says they have to check it, let them.

Remember, no one but you really cares about your bag, so the most important thing to remember is: dude, you brought it here – you put it in the bin.


Airplane food

Most domestic flights do not offer

1) Free meals
2) Pillows
3) Blankets

Also good to know: airlines are not taking cash. Credit cards are needed for food purchases, snacks, and adult beverages.

Photo Credits:

Creative Commons License Airplane Flight Wing flying to Travel on Vacation by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Creative Commons License UA 747 Business Overhead Bin by rapidtravelchai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Creative Commons License random bits: lunch on british airways by koadmunkee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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