Delta is trying a new idea this summer, on a trial basis: Speeding up boarding by having airline staff load passengers' carry-ons in the overhead before passengers board. They're calling it 'Early Valet' and will test it on a number of flights from Atlanta, NYC and other busy hubs.
The idea is to get the plane loaded faster; 1 in 4 U.S. flights leaves the gate at least 15 minutes late, and every minute late costs money, estimated at $30 a minute. Early valet, applied to vacationer-heavy flights, the ones with the most delay, is based on the idea that if the bags are efficiently stored in the overheads, people will get to their seats quickly...and there will be fewer disputes over the space.
The program started on about two dozen flights yesterday, and will increase over the summer. If it works...it could be permanent. Which might be the first really good news in airline baggage in years. MORE on this, and other attempts at faster seating.
Photo: Could the battle of the overheads be over? Wikimedia / Mattes