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View Full Version : Underseat space (or lack of such)



bchaplin
11-08-2010, 01:40 AM
Over the last few overseas trips I've honed my carry-ons so that I have a laptop bag and smaller bag (with my change of clothes, travel mug and snacks) that will fit neatly under my seat. I am too short to practically access the overhead bins during the flight without bothering someone to help me.

I just flew Delta and KLM from the U.S. to Lagos, via Amsterdam, only to find that 3 out of 4 seats I had during the flights contained bulky A/V boxes under the seat in front of them, which left me with almost no usable space to place my carry-ons. This is so unfair! But I thought I'd pass on the info as something to think about when you pack. It doesn't matter how carefully you plan your carryons if you end up with no space to keep your personal items with you during flight.

It seems to be random which seat has the equipment in front of it. Some aisle and window seats are clear, some blocked. (Seatguru.com may have this info, and I'll check it next time I fly.) All I had space for in most of them was my tiny purse (which thankfully I'd already separated from my main bag so that my wallet and such could be with me). I had to do a mad rush on boarding to extricate from my larger bags the essentials such as my travel mug, eye shades and kindle, and inevitably forgot something on each flight.

Just
11-08-2010, 02:33 AM
Yeah, those boxes are pet peeves of mine as well. I understand some of them contain the electronics for the video screen. But sometimes, maddeningly, they are present even when there isn't a video screen!

I've taken to using a Dyneema Stuff Sack (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0661) to house my "extricate-from-larger-bag" essentials.

maverick
11-08-2010, 02:41 AM
ah yes, i've run into this a few times. as far as i could tell, seatguru isn't able to provide information about the location of the video on demand upgrade units. they seem to get placed randomly underneath the seats.

bchaplin
11-08-2010, 03:31 AM
Yeah, it really made me mad. The only leg of the journey I didn't have one was when I was stuck in a middle seat on a 4-seat row. Which wasn't much fun either!

travls
11-08-2010, 04:44 PM
Me too! The good news is that, at least on United, I've always been able to fit my ID in next to the video box, especially if I take my MacBook out and lay it diagonally in the available space and put a few things (noise-cancelling headphones, etc.) in the seat back pocket.

Fat Crip
11-13-2010, 02:52 PM
The other thing to remember when flying in Europe, many of the budget carriers will only let you carry one bag of 55cm x 45cm x 20cm (around 22" x 18" x 10") and limited to 10 Kgs (22lbs). And some are very, very strict, often weighing them and checking them both at check-in and again at boarding. Anything they deem too big can suffer a 40 (around $60) charge to have it put in the hold. You can't have anything else i.e. your lap top, man/hand bag, plastic duty free bags etc., must be inside your one bag. I half expect someone to tell me I can't take my walking stick one day!

To get round this, I wear an Orvis Zambezie jacket with lots of pockets for everything I'll need on the plane (headphones, money, iPad/iPhone, book, passport, boarding card, pen, etc). and just have to retrieve my iPad from my bag before I deposit my bag either in the overhead or under the seat. I can't retrieve it wherever its put - I'm 6'2", 265lbs and disabled, so once I'm in my seat, I'm there for the duration (always go to the loo last thing before I board, and don't dare drink anything in flight - I always laugh at Maverick's references to water bottles in almost all of his videos!). Both my jacket and Orvis trousers have 'D' rings (as opposed to 'O' rings, and I'm planning to attach a couple of my Tom Bihn pouches when I go to my Spanish house at the end of the month. Total Tom Bihn integration!

Seesul
12-03-2010, 03:54 PM
I had to do a mad rush on boarding to extricate from my larger bags the essentials such as my travel mug, eye shades and kindle, and inevitably forgot something on each flight.

After being "surprised" like this too many times, I invested in a Sidekick.

I put everything that I need at my seat inside, clipped in by keystraps. The Sidekick itself is clipped in my carryon for quick access. I then strap it around my waste, so that I don't forget it and just before landing, put it back in my bag. It's absolutely amazing what a Sidekick holds. As a purse while flying, I carry everything I need in a Packing Cube Backpack that goes inside my carryon as well.

moriond
12-08-2010, 05:25 PM
After being "surprised" like this too many times, I invested in a Sidekick.

I put everything that I need at my seat inside, clipped in by keystraps. The Sidekick itself is clipped in my carryon for quick access. I then strap it around my waste, so that I don't forget it and just before landing, put it back in my bag. It's absolutely amazing what a Sidekick holds. As a purse while flying, I carry everything I need in a Packing Cube Backpack that goes inside my carryon as well.
Meant to ask, were you referring to the Side Effect (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/ACC/TB0412)? when you spoke of the Sidekick?

Cheers,
moriond

bltkmt
12-09-2010, 05:13 AM
More likely the Eagle Creek Sidekick.

Seesul
02-11-2014, 10:42 AM
More likely the Eagle Creek Sidekick.

Just found this again. Nope, Mori is correct, TB all the way. The Sidekick is too large. I especially like the new design of the SK. I even have one with me all of the time in my Cafe bag. It is strapped into the top and contains everything I need to go shopping hands free. Thanks for the correction of my brain freeze.

moriond
02-11-2014, 12:31 PM
Just found this again. Nope, Mori is correct, TB all the way. The Sidekick is too large. I especially like the new design of the SK. I even have one with me all of the time in my Cafe bag. It is strapped into the top and contains everything I need to go shopping hands free. Thanks for the correction of my brain freeze.

If you have the new Side Effect, take a look at the Side Effect + S-Biners as seat pocket bag (http://forums.tombihn.com/bag-reviews/6614-side-effect-s-biners-seat-pocket-bag.html) thread. I use the new Double Carabiners instead of S-Biners. You can see a picture in the Double Carabiner, 4 Thumbs Up! (http://forums.tombihn.com/thoughts-tom-bihn-bags/7037-double-carabiner-4-thumbs-up.html) Thread.