Lonely Planet Writer

The rush for overhead space will soon be over on some of this US airline's fleet

One of the most annoying parts of flying is rushing to claim some precious space in the overhead bins. As more fliers choose to become carry-on-only travellers, American Airlines is trying to make things simpler by upgrading some of its planes with more bin space.

American Airlines will introduce larger overhead bins. Image by Airbus

American Airlines is upgrading the cabins on more than 200 of its A321s. Airbus will be retrofitting the cabins with its new Airspace XL bins, which provide 40% more space. By allowing a standard cabin suitcase to go into the bin on its side, there’s plenty of room for everyone to get their luggage in – without causing frustration between seatmates or sending your luggage to the other side of the plane. This is designed to reduce crowding in the bins and also the amount of passengers that have to check their bags at the gate, hopefully streamlining the boarding experience for all involved.

However, budget fliers should take note; American Airlines is one of the US airlines that restricts overhead bin use for basic economy travellers, so you might not even get a chance to take all that extra space for a spin.

American Airlines will introduce larger overhead bins. Image by Airbus

With many travellers trying to avoid the extra charges for checked bags, the bins on many airlines are just getting too crammed. Delta has also added extra-large bins on some of its planes, while Ryanair has announced changes to its carry-on policy to try and reduce the problem by checking passengers’ second bag free of charge. Thankfully, if you hate waiting at the luggage carousel, you can pay for priority boarding for €5 that allows two pieces of luggage in the cabin.

Tech-savvy travellers should also be aware that there are changes coming on many US airlines that will affect people with smart luggage. Due to concerns caused by lithium batteries, only smart luggage with removable batteries will be allowed on flights with airlines like Delta, American Airlines and Alaskan Airlines.