Continental Airlines today issued letters to United Airlines and Denver International Airport requesting that they immediately change their plans to restrict carry-on baggage by installing templates or baggage sizers at x-ray security checkpoints at DIA. This sentiment echoes Continental`s concerns at other airports throughout its system that it finds “sizers” to be an unacceptable solution to carry-on baggage issues.
“The security function should not be confused by having security personnel serve as `bag cops`,” said Mark Erwin, senior vice president of airport services. “As we saw in San Diego, having a sizer at the x-ray machine delays and inconveniences passengers—exactly the opposite result of good customer service.”
Continental believes carry-on baggage should be managed individually by airlines, since policies vary among carriers. Continental is in the midst of a $14 million retrofit project to install expanded overhead bins on more than 150 aircraft. It is also taking delivery of more new aircraft, which have more in-cabin storage space, than any other airline.
Installation of sizers is part of a trend at major airlines to crack down on passengers` purported “abuse” of carry-on baggage. For instance, a flight attendants` union representative from one major airline was quoted in the Nov. 2 Aviation Daily as saying that sizers would help remedy the “spoiled-brat petulance” of carry-on abusers. Continental does not support this industry trend, and intends to accommodate carry-on baggage when practicable.
Continental is raising the issue now in Denver to prevent United`s installation of sizers on x-ray machines located at three security checkpoints which United controls at DIA and shares with other carriers. Continental hopes to avoid the institution of a lawsuit such as it brought in San Diego, where Continental brought an action against Delta Air Lines to have Delta`s sizers removed at San Diego International Airport. Delta has refused to do so voluntarily.