The “correct” way to store hand luggage is not what you think

The “correct” way to store hand luggage is not what you think

The “correct” way to store hand luggage is not what you think

Think you know how to store your hand luggage? Think again. There’s a much more efficient way to do it—one that the airlines really want 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 seat belt on until the sign goes off” upon landing, there are many things we also turn off.

But it is quite easy to store your luggage in the overhead bins. Something you can’t really go wrong with, you might think. Well, apparently you’re wrong because United Airlines has come out with a viral video showing you the right way to do it. And if all airlines have the same size bins as United has in this video, then I’ve been doing it wrong all along.

SEE: The “correct” way to store carry-on cases in the bins

Enter: the video. Lip-synced (as is TikTok’s wont) to a bizarre soundtrack talking about moving side to side vs. upside down, the clip shows you how you should put your suitcases in the upper cupboard. And how is it? With the narrow side down and with the wheels first. It also displays 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 containers of certain sizes. Something various social media users noted. TikTok Brigade also pointed out that if you’re short, you probably don’t care how you put your bag in the overhead locker (as 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 it.” Another added: “Respectfully I’m 4’11. If I throw the bag and it lands in the trash and not my head, that’s a win for me. I’m sitting down.”

RELATED: “Neck Pillow” Travel Hack that everyone should know

However, one short person praised the video, writing: “As a short person I’m glad I watched this bc I can never see inside them where the instruction sticker is.”

However, for planes with smaller bins, you should never put your suitcase lengthwise, but you should probably lay it flat instead of on its side.

As Heather Poole, a long-time flight attendant, once told Travel and leisure: “Large hand luggage is first placed in the overhead bin wheels. 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 the side.”

Heather Poole

You learn something new every day.

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