Hi everyone. I'll be traveling on Southwest for the first time next week.
I'm a photographer who will have a fair amount of camera equipment in my carry-on, and I'm trying to take every precaution to insure it says with me and doesn't get removed from the cabin.
I've read the size limits for carry on's and my bag (large backpack with padded dividers) is right at the limits (a couple inches shorter on the length and width, but right at the limit on thickness). And since its a soft backpack, depending how you "squish" it and how its laying, those dimensions can shift a bit.
I purchased my ticket on fairly short notice (purchased on 10/26 for a flight leaving on 10/31). I went ahead and paid for "early bird" checkin to try to get boarded as early as possible.
Anyway, I'm just worried that I wont be boarded early enough, and the overhead bins will not have enough room left... especially this time of year (and flying to a cold destination) where a lot of people will have thick coats and such on that end up eating up a lot of bin space.
The flight is a non-stop and inside the continental US.
If I do get on the plane and the attendant says there isn't room, are there any steps I can take to plead my case that the items inside the bag are simply too fragile to risk being put in the cargo hold.
If you are cedentialed press there is a pre-boarding option. If this is for personal use, then maybe you can still ask but I would expect there to be bin space available with Early Bird position although it may not be next to thet desirable seats.
Ask the FA to help if there is any issue moving some other luggage around or finding a spot close to an open seat.
Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
I'm also a photographer, and travel with a carry-on backpack of gear. I'm A-List, so I am generally in the first 30 or so boarding, but the Early Bird will almost certainly get you what you need.
If you ever end up in the C group, that's when it's risky and your bag may be checked. But most flight attendants are understanding, and will try to find a way. They're very good about moving coats out of the bins and putting bags up, then putting the coats back on top afterward.