During an era in which airlines continue to tag fees for checking some luggage, the carry-on bag has remained a passenger's staple in bringing all necessities with minimum cost. As economical as the practice may be, it is also apparently unsafe.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) released the results of a recent membership survey in which one out of two flight attendants witnessed carry-on items falling from overhead bins in the previous 60 days. The survey validated anecdotal reports that carry-on baggage is out of control, mostly due to recent fees to check luggage.
"We now have compelling evidence that flight attendants and passengers are being injured by excess amounts of oversized carry-on items," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA international president. "AFA-CWA has been urging Congress, government agencies, and carriers to establish reasonable carry-on limitations that will improve the overall safety, health and security of crew and passengers inside the aircraft cabin. These limits will reduce injuries and distractions caused by carry-ons and allow flight attendants to devote more attention to the critical task of ensuring the safest and most secure flight possible."
According to the survey, over 80 percent of flight attendants sustained injuries over the past year due to dealing with carry-ons in overhead bins. The most common injury being strained and pulled muscles in the neck, arms and upper back. The survey was compiled from a representative sample of the 50,000 AFA-CWA members at 22 U.S. airlines.
While releasing the survey, AFA-CWA also launched a new web site, www.EndCarryonCrunch.org, dedicated to encouraging the traveling public to write to Congress, urging them to pass legislation that would ease the carry-on situation.
Currently, there is a bill in the House of Representatives that offers to set one standard for all bags carried on board U.S. commercial aircraft. The Securing Carry-On Baggage Act, H.R. 2870, would create a universal size for carry-on bags, instead of allowing each carrier to determine its own size requirements and requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to enforce the rules.
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