Overhead bin space is a coveted part of traveling, but many don’t know it’s not guaranteed. One TikToker reminds us just how this part of traveling works.
In the video, Harmony (@travelwithharmony) walks us through some do’s and don’ts about travel etiquette while cozily in a black velvet robe. Harmony’s page is filled with travel etiquette to help you “become a better traveler” and has gathered 150,000 followers.
“The overhead space right above the seat that you pay for on the plane? Yeah. It don’t belong to you. …When you get to your seat on the plane, the seat that you pay for, and you looking at overhead bed, and you find other items there, that’s not your time to take somebody else’s bag out. Trying to rearrange. Talk about, ‘Oh, I’m sitting here.’ That’s not how this work,” Harmony explains.
The video has over 49,000 views and 242 comments as of Jan. 4.
Harmony’s point may be counterintuitive to understand. Naturally, you would expect that the space nearest to you is one reserved for your items, right? But this is simply not true. This is why planes often run out of overhead bin space before the plane is finished boarding.
Essentially, Harmony’s entire idea boils down to this: “Overhead bin spaces, first come, first serve. That’s why it matters the class that you’re boarding.”
@travelwiththeharmony This is how overheard bin space works on a plane. If you have something to add, sound off in the comments. I love hearing what my travel friends have to say! #Travelwiththeharmony ♬ original sound – Harmony
Some folks in the comments were already well aware of this point.
“For the overhead bin, imma get in where I fit in,” @yolandayvette said.
“As a Flight Attendant, you are out here doing the Lord’s work!!” @fadavidb wrote.
Others are more cynical of the “first come, first served” rule of overhead bin spaces.
”I agree with this but I also think you should take up space in the section you are in. Someone in row 35 should not put a bag near row 5,” @chocolateboots said in a comment that gathered 290 likes.
However, other travel blogs echo Harmony’s sentiments. In an interview with a flight attendant on the Conde Nast Traveler’s site about overheard storage, the flight attendant states, “Understandably most travelers want to place their bags directly above their seat for easy access during the flight, and so they can quickly grab and go once the plane lands. But the space above an airline seat is not guaranteed or reserved for those sitting in that particular row.”
On the bright side, there are ways to secure overhead bin space. If you want to make sure you’ll have overhead bin space on a Delta flight, you might consider booking a Delta Comfort Plus ticket, which comes with “dedicated overhead bin space reserved for you: storage space above your seat to keep carry-ons within easy reach.”
If you prefer a free option, Harmony has a tip for that as well.
“When you get on the plane, I mean, soon as you walk on, your antenna should be scanning every freaking bin on road to find a spot to put your bag. Once you see a spot, get it,” Harmony underscores.
Traveling can be tedious, knowing the best ways to secure overhead bin space and the rules about who is entitled, or not entitled, to it can ease your boarding process the next time you travel.
Harmony also has a platform called Gate Access where they help passengers understand travel and security rights. You can follow their newsletter at https://gateaccess.substack.com/.
The Daily Dot has reached to Harmony for comment via email.