The new American Airlines standard domestic interior – which crams more passengers into their planes than ever before – has one passenger-friendly feature: bigger overhead bins.
There’s enough space for each passenger on a full plane to bring a standard-sized carry on bag on board, which means passengers shouldn’t have to gate check their bags. That’s great for passengers, and also for the airline because gate checking can cause delays.
With more bags inside than before, the overhead bins can get heavy and difficult to close. It turns out there’s a trick to it.
Jill Surdek, American’s Senior Vice President of Flight Service, explained at the carrier’s “State of the Airline” meeting after their earnings call:
What’s confusing to people – and I’ll be honest, someone had to show me because I didn’t know either – you actually pull down the bin and it will on our newer planes help you raise it up so it’s not like you’re lifting 50 pounds straight overhead.
This is important for flight attendants who close bins throughout the aircraft every day, but it’s also useful for customers to know this too.
If this trick doesn’t work, bear in mind “there are sometimes where that mechanism itself that helps it auto-lift doesn’t, it might get broken.”