Bigger Overhead Bins May Help Offset Impact of New FAA Weight and Balance Guidelines
American travelers have increased in girth over recent decades, and the FAA is increasing its weight calculations to catch up with this reality. The new FAA Weight and Balance standards will increase the average assumed weight for an adult passenger plus carry-on from 170-175lbs to 190-195lbs based on the season.
What’s the Impact for Airlines when More Weight Is Allocated to Passengers?
If the weight of passengers is overestimated, it means reduced revenue for the airline. As the assumed weight in the cabin goes up, the weight that can be allocated to carrying fuel and cargo goes down. That can mean lost revenue if seats must be left empty to allow enough weight for fuel to reach the destination.
Carry On Storage Issues Compound the Problem
Often, passengers can’t carry bags on because the luggage won’t fit in the overhead bins. It’s a sad fact that many popular aircraft models simply won’t accommodate a standard piece of wheeled luggage. Every carry-on bag that won’t fit overhead has to be checked as baggage. Now, it is calculated as cabin weight AND as cargo weight.
Let’s take a look at how this could impact a flight:
- Each passenger + carry-on is assumed to be an average of 195lbs total.
- If a 180lb man walks on with a 35lb carry-on bag, this is counted as 195lbs.
- If he can’t fit his bag in the bins on the plane, he is still calculated at 195lbs.
- His carry-on goes to the baggage bay and is calculated as 35lbs of cargo.
- Now the man has a total weight impact on the plane calculated at 215lbs.
Imagine all 70 passengers on a plane are calculated this way. The aircraft is now assumed to be carrying an additional 1,400lbs. The craft may not be able to take on enough fuel. It might even have to remove passengers from the plane, reducing revenue and creating dissatisfaction.
Every Carry-On Counts: What Can Be Done to Maximize Cabin Storage Space?
One approach to reducing the impact of the weight calculations is bin modification. By increasing storage capacity inside the aircraft cabin, flights can keep 34-40 more bags in the aircraft cabin. This could save as much as 900lbs for the CRJ700 or 1400lbs for the CRJ900.
There are several additional benefits to not separating passengers from their luggage. Obviously, customers are happier. They don’t want to wait in the jetway to retrieve their luggage upon landing. Airlines benefit from reduced loading/unloading time along with labor costs, and crews stay on time for their next flight assignments.
Looking for Overhead Bin Solutions? They’re Already Here.
At GAL, we’ve designed, developed, tested, and installed CRJ550 bin modifications that increase internal bin capacity without encroaching into aisle space while making it easier for passengers to maneuver their bags in and out of overhead bins. From high-performance hardware that resists breakage and malfunction to a streamlined and modern exterior, these bins will change how your passengers experience your aircraft while helping you improve revenue.
We can also provide more spacious overhead bins for additional aircraft including CRJ700 and CRJ900 series, Q400, Embraer 175, and more.
Reach out to our Engineering team for help with updating your fleet. Contact info@galaerospace for more information.