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I went on Bob Sirott’s Morning Show on Chicago’s WGN Radio recently and we started talking about overhead bin space (2:30 in). One of my travel tips, which is an unorthodox but smart one, is to put your carry-on bag in the overhead bin directly across from you. I know, I know … everyone thinks you’re supposed to put it in the bin directly above you but hear me out.

Believe it or not, theft on airplanes happen, especially on red eyes and/or long-haul flights when most passengers are sleeping. If the bag is across from you, then you can see which bag someone is rummaging through. It’s also smart to keep any cash or valuables on your person (some use a money belt, fanny pack or money/passport holder around your neck) because there have been incidents when, even when your bag is under the seat in front of you, seatmates have stolen things while you get up to use the bathroom.

However, if you don’t plan on getting things out of your carry-on and don’t plan to sleep during the flight, then it’s a good idea to put your carry-on directly above you – especially because of COVID since other passengers don’t want you hovering over them.

If you do put your bag in the overhead bin across the aisle from you, then be prepared for your seatmates to snap, since they think the space above them is theirs and theirs alone, even though it’s not. I’ve had multiple people yell at me but when I calmly explained, why they usually agreed it makes sense. Plus, they can use the space above you, since you’re not using it and then they can keep an eye on their own stuff.


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4 Comments On "How To Prevent In-Flight Thefts"
  1. Melanie Galuten|

    I lock my bags including my purse. I just carry a small lock and put it thru the zipper openings on both. Would work for under seat backpack too! :)

  2. Max Weber|

    I have always left my wallet in my carry-on bag. No more. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Simon|

    I use a Scottevest that I wear throughout the flight. Passport, wallet and any other essential items (like CoVid vaccination card, iPhone etc) are in zipped pockets on the lining side of the vest – makes it hard to get too while seated.

  4. Michele Herrmann|

    I’ve started securing my bags with combination locks from opening. When I use the bathroom, I carry my purse in with me.

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