‘Correct’ Way To Store Your Carry-On Luggage Is Not What You Think

Time to 'bin' your bad habits...

Think you know how to stow your carry-on? Think again. There is a much more efficient way of doing it – one that airlines would really like you to know about...


It’s easy to get blasé about travel. From the safety demonstration (I’d rather die) to the directive to “keep your seatbelt fastened until the sign goes off” on landing there are many things we switch off too.

But stowing your luggage in the overhead bins is pretty simple. Something you can’t really get wrong, you might think. Well, apparently you think wrong because United Airlines has come out with a viral video that shows you the right way to do it. And if all airlines have the same sized bins as United does in this video, then I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.

WATCH: The ‘Correct’ Way To Store Carry-On Suitcases In The Overhead Bins

Enter: the video. Lip synched (as is TikTok’s wont) to a bizarre soundtrack talking about moving side to side vs. up and down, the clip shows you how you should be putting your suitcases in the overhead locker. And how is that? With the narrow side down and with the wheels first. It also shows a sign inside the bins showing you how to place your case.

“Pov: you’re on one of our new planes with larger overhead bins.”

United Airlines

This is also only possible, it should be noted, with certain sized bins. Something various social media users noted. The TikTok Brigade also pointed out that if you’re short, you probably don’t care how you put your bag in the overhead locker (so long as you can get it up there) and you won’t be able to see the sign anyway.

Image Credit: Paddle Your Own Kanoo

“POV…. You’re not tall enough to see the sign.”

TikTok user Casey Escamilla

One wrote: “Some of us are too short to see that.” Another added: “Respectfully I am 4’11. If I throw the bag up and it lands in the bin and not my head that’s a win for me. I’m sitting down.”

RELATED: The ‘Neck Pillow’ Travel Hack Everyone Should Know

One short person praised the video, however, writing: “As a short person I’m glad I saw this bc I never can see inside those to where that instruction sticker is.”

As for planes with smaller overhead bins, you should still never put your suitcase in lengthways, but you will probably have to put it in flat rather than on its side.

As Heather Poole, a longtime flight attendant, once told Travel & Leisure: “Large carry-on items go in the overhead bin wheels first. Jackets and coats go on top of the bag. Smaller bags go under the seat.”

“If you’re lucky enough to find yourself on a plane with the newer, taller bins, you can put them in wheels first, but on their side.”

Heather Poole

You learn something new every day.

Read Next

370463