Destination I Do
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Carry-On Tips for Your Destination Wedding

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Brett Snyder
You’re shopping for flights for your destination wedding, and you’re doing the usual research. How can you get there with the fewest stops? Can you keep the fare really low so you can spend more money on beer? What flight times work best? But there’s one thing you probably haven’t thought about. Overhead bins.

There’s a good chance that if you’re traveling to your wedding, you’re going to try to lug more onboard the airplane than you normally would. The last thing you want is to find your bag sent to Moscow while you’re wedding is in Bali, right? So you try to bring more on, but that’s easier said than done. We’ve all been faced with full overhead bins, but some can fit more than others.
When it comes to small overhead bins, you probably assume that the smaller the airplane, the worse off you are, right? Believe it or not, that’s not the case. Sure, the smaller planes have smaller bins, but they don’t provide the worst experience. You’ve probably been on those 50 and 70 seat jets before. They can’t hold any normal-sized bag. Because of that, the airlines will take your carry-ons at plane-side and then return them to you when you land. You don’t have to go to baggage claim, and it’s highly unlikely your bag will be lost. So that’s not a bad thing at all.
On the other hand, there are some middle of the road planes that have smaller bins and you won’t get the same service. These tend to be older airplanes that were built before “bin space” became a nationwide mantra.

What planes might you want to avoid? Delta’s DC9s and MD80s, for starters. American also has a very large fleet of MD80s. Not only were these built with older-style overhead bins, but the cabins are smaller. Yes, the 2-3 configuration means your chance of getting a middle seat is slim, but it also means there’s less room above your head for bags.

Sometimes you can’t tell just by the airplane. Delta, for example, has recently announced that it will be retrofitting the old Northwest 757s that it inherited in the merger because those have the older, smaller bins. But Delta’s own 757s are fine. So it may just be a crap shoot in some cases.
Bin space may not be your number 1 reason for choosing a flight, but it’s one more thing you might want to consider.

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