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The Overhead Bin Wars: This Might Be The Craziest Invention Meant To Help Flight Attendants Yet

The Overhead Bin Wars: This Might Be The Craziest Invention Meant To Help Flight Attendants Yet

The Overhead Bin Wars: This Might Be The Craziest Invention Meant To Help Flight Attendants Yet

There are plenty of contraptions that are meant to help flight attendants do their job more efficiently.  How about the onboard trash compactor – which may or may not actually compact trash (the struggle really is real).  Or about how so-called ‘high comfort’ crew rest seats – about as comfortable as sitting on a plank of wood.

Then there are those small mirrors fitted to the inside of overhead bins – designed, apparently, to allow passengers and flight attendants to see blind spots and presumably make better use of the increasingly limited amount of space available.

Well now, the very same manufacturer of the overhead bin mirror has come up with a new invention and it might just be the wackiest flight attendant tool we’ve ever seen.  It’s called the TanaOS Stick and emphasis should be placed on ‘stick’ – put simply, it’s a metal stick to allow flight attendants to push shut the overhead bins.

To help explain, what might seem like a solution to a problem that never existed, the invention has been dreamt up by a Japenese company, specifically for Japan Airlines.  Some estimates put the average height of a Japenese female at just 5’00” tall, compared to say 5’5″ for American females.

Derived from the Japenese word for rack or shelf, the TanaOS can extend to 39.2cm and weighs just 155 grams.  It comes with a handy carry strap and rubberised handle.  The final product is said to have been perfected after many “repetitions of trial and error and direct interviews with Japan Airlines’ cabin attendants.”

The designers say Japan Airlines identified the need for the tool as part of their safety checks, flight attendants are required to make sure every single overhead bin is shut properly for takeoff and landing.  At the moment, flight attendants have found themselves having to step on seats to complete the checks – a time consuming and physically laborious task.

But maybe there’s a space for the TanaOS stick in every flight attendants toolkit.  After all, the war for overhead bin space is getting increasingly dirty – if there’s one thing sure to annoy passengers, it’s the ability (or lack of) to fit all your possessions into the overhead bin.

The overhead bin wars

And it’s flight attendants who are stuck in the middle – forced to somehow mediate disputes between passengers and find space for large roll along’s amongst the small bags and coats that have been haphazardly tossed into the overhead space by those who were first to board.

New space saving overhead bins like Boeing’s ‘Space Bin’ which is designed to easily stow six roll along’s or Airbus’ pivoting stowages that can take a similar number are of no good if passengers continue to make inefficient use of the space provided.

The solution would seem simple – don’t charge for checked luggage and put strict limitations on the amount of hand luggage allowed onboard.  That, however, is unlikely to happen anytime soon.  Instead, we’ve seen a whole new slew of legacy and low-cost airlines alike introduce ‘basic’ economy fares that restrict passengers to hand luggage only.

Here’s our plea:  If a flight attendant moves your luggage or asks you to remove a coat from an overhead bin, then please don’t get grouchy.  They’re trying to allow everyone to carry their personal belongings in the cabin – and working to get an on-time departure.  The flight attendants are under pressure but the last thing they want is a confrontation.

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