New York - Upon boarding a late afternoon, La Guardia to Denver flight, it became obvious to crew and passengers alike that many carry-ons were suffering the same affliction. Several were unrecognizably distended beyond their factory dimensions; others were overflowing with bottles, books, and unused articles of clothing; and still there were others that threatened to burst their seams. There's only so much one zipper can hold back before it bares its teeth, letting flow the tide of over packed (and often unnecessary) items.
Many ask the question, "Why?" Why do people feel the need to bring all their worldly possessions with them onto the aircraft? What do they have against the cargo holds? They do come with their own fire repression systems, and some are even pressurized and climate controlled for furry friend transport.
Lack of overhead storage is the main side effect of carry-on elephantitis. And yes, it affects nearly everyone on board -- especially the man who refuses to remove the garment bag containing the tux he rented for $300 and is told that it must go in the overhead bin for safety and security, regardless of how much the rental cost or how wrinkled it will become. Why must he endure such torture!?
One magic phrase people, "Would it be possible to gate check this?" It may seem scary, but gate checked luggage emerges from the Fraggle Rock that operates below the wings and slides down the ramps on the baggage claim carousels first and is almost never forgotten in the originating city.