I have always wondered about this phenomenom. It makes no sense. Also, funny.
Is it not because of baggage handlers and health and safety ?
But other people have to lift his checked bag. He’s the only one responsible for hefting his carry on. It’s not about keeping the plane in the air, but saving the backs of baggage handlers.
It’s about load balancing and weigt distribution in cargo. (Same as in the cabin – sometimes heavier pax get a courtesy upgrade to first or business class because they need more weight near the plane’s nose.)
Hi, I’m an airline pilot. Imagine a shelf balanced on two pegs. You can put weight outside of either peg as long as you have some weight on the other side to balance it. Too much weight outside of either peg and the shelf tips.
A gross simplification: The wings of the aircraft serve as one peg, the smaller “wings” on the tail serve as the other. The name of the game is to balance the plane given those two fixed “pegs.”
Finally, the plane is designed so that if every passenger packs a bag of equal or lesser weight, there will be no problems. This is where checked bag weight restrictions come from.
Adding to Chris’ comment…I was on a smaller sized plane (maybe 50-75 capacity) that had to move PEOPLE around the cabin to balance the weight. That made us all a bit nervous.
I was on a small plane once with too many empty seats. And the weight was off. They strapped in some luggage to the seats to make up for it.
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