Best boarding
© André Gottschalk

Vicky Scherber, Senior Director of Passenger and Baggage Processes at Lufthansa, explains why less carry- on baggage is more.

Ms. Scherber, what problems does too much hand baggage cause during boarding?

An Airbus A320 has space for up to 180 passengers, but only for a maximum of 85 cabin trolleys in its overhead lockers. When they are full, the rest have to be stowed under seats or reloaded into the hold. That all takes a lot of time.

So passengers shouldn’t carry on trolleys?

We would like to encourage our passengers not to do so on busy routes. That’s why we offer them the option of checking in hand baggage free of charge on fully booked flights.

Is there a smart way to stow baggage speedily?

It’s good if people think about what they need in the cabin before boarding – instead of pulling their book out of the case once they reach their seat. Purses are best placed beneath the seat in front. A jacket hung on the peg behind the seat in front saves space in the overhead lockers.

Each passenger is permitted one piece of hand baggage weighing eight kilos and measuring 55 x 40 x 23 centimeters, plus one smaller bag. Does everyone stick to that?

Most people do. A survey revealed that 75 percent of our passengers value our rules because they make speedier boarding possible. That’s why we aim to run stricter checks on the weight, size and number of bags in the future.

What are the advantages of traveling “light”?

In May, we start tests on Express Security Lane for people boarding with only one personal item (a purse or laptop). Right now we’re piloting Easy, a low-priced fare that includes a checked trolley weighing up to eight kilos. This summer, we will also be trialing a Home & Hotel Delivery service. So for a little extra, passengers will be able to have their baggage brought to their home or hotel. What could be more convenient?