I’ll keep it short (ish) with this post ( ironically being shorter would mean a reduced need for this rant).  This may (or may not) just be me getting a little wound up over nothing, but then again I might actually have a point.  I think at least those reading this with long legs may appreciate this one, so here goes …

Budget Flight + Small Bag = Punishment?

So I’m a big guy, 6ft 2′ and with a small cheese based food baby stuck to my waistline. Flying on budget airlines isn’t therefore always a comfy experience for me, but I can get over that and accept that you get what you pay for on budget airlines i.e. no frills.

On budget flights the lack of leg room is generally a source for discomfort, but for 2-3 hours I can handle it.  It is one of the reasons why my flight costs so little, again I know and accept this.  But last weekend whist getting on board a flight to Italy I was asked …

“Excuse me sir, can you but your bag under the seat in front of you please as we’re limited on space for this flight”.

What I should mention is that when I go on a weekend break I usually just take my 25 litre rucksack.  I cant pull off the wheely case look.

Being stupid o’clock in the morning I initially had trouble processing this request. My British side screamed ‘do as you’re told, you were bought up to be polite and respect authority’, but then I counter argued myself  ‘if you do that, you’re going to have sod all leg room and this is going to be much more painful than usual, say no’.  The British in me won on this occasion, but then I was asked the same thing again on the return journey.  One was not amused!

Budget Airline

So on both legs of my journey to the Red City in Italy the little bit of leg space I had was reassigned to bag storage, and all because I had a small bag.  Yes it made sense in as much that my bag would easily fit under my seat whereas other peoples wouldn’t, but how was and is that fair that my leg room should be restricted when if all bags were the same size as mine the problem of bag storage in the overhead lockers wouldn’t exist? … and also doesn’t it send out completely the wrong message?

Wrong message

Bring a small bag and we’ll fit everyone else’s bags into the overhead lockers at the expense of your leg room and comfort



Right message

Small bags are great, we like them because if everyone were to bring one we wouldn’t be playing tetris with passengers hand luggage before every flight.


My view is that if budget airlines are finding themselves limited for space when it comes to passenger hand luggage, surely it would make sense to ‘punish’ those with huge bags?  The ones that blatantly don’t fit into those bag measuring contraptions at the gate desk, but have been snuck on anyway.  I mean seriously, some of the bags I see people carrying onto these flights as hand luggage I could fit at least 2 weeks worth of clothes in.

By ‘punishing’ me and my small bag surely these companies are just encouraging myself and others to bring a bigger bag next time around so that we do not get asked to give up our precious leg room. I ‘m certainly considering it on my flight this weekend even though granted I’d be adding to the problem I am currently describing and therefore cutting my hand to spite my face, but at least I’ll stand a better chance of being able to feel my legs after the flight.

So whats the deal with this, do I have a point of am I being a numpty? I know that I am never going to be flying in complete comfort whilst using budget airlines, but why should I lose what little comfort I am afforded because another passengers want to lug suitcases on board?

So do I have a point or am I being an idiot about this?  Would you care if you luggage affected the comfort of another passenger who you were never likely to see again?