Not Putting Anything In The Overhead Bin? American Airlines Is Seeing What Happens If You Board First

One thing that ticks off a lot of seasoned business travelers is waiting to board a plane because the passengers in front of you are busy futzing around with squeezing their probably too-large carry-ons into the overhead bins. But now American Airlines is testing to see what happens when it gives priority boarding to travelers who won’t be using the overhead storage.

The L.A. Times’ Hugo Martin says that the process is being tested by AA in at least four U.S. airports — Baltimore, Austin, Washington-Dulles, and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood — and that it allows coach passengers without bags to board after first- and business-class travelers, but ahead of the rest of the economy travelers with bags.

“We test many different concepts in an effort to continually improve the customer experience,” reads a statement from American. “With this in mind, we’re conducting a test for a boarding process whereby customers who do not have any baggage to stow in the overhead compartment will be boarded in a separate group. This is a limited test and results are still being analyzed.”

The test was first reported by JohnnyJet.com.

Yesterday, American was knocked out of this year’s Worst Company In America tournament by Spirit, which would probably charge passengers for the privilege of not carrying on any bags.