I'M not sure whether I should be telling you this - since it goes against the way I think air travellers should behave - but it's interesting... so here goes.
Among the many responses to my columns on the luggage hogs who fill up overhead lockers with oversized bags were a few observations on the cunning things passengers do to sneak more gear on board.
One reader sent an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, based on information from a Qantas cabin crew member, which listed strategies like: "the strategically angled individual who appears to have just one reasonably sized bag while approaching and sidling past the cabin crew but is actually wearing a backpack the size of a transit van; the suit bag packed more like a body bag; the coat tossed nonchalantly over a multitude of bags; the 120-litre women's handbag; [and] economy passengers who dump their horribly heavy bag into the first locker in business class and move on."
But the most fascinating way to beat the luggage rules was the Carry on Coat, developed by Scott Jordan of US clothing company Scottevest, which has 33 extra pockets so you can carry the contents of an overnight bag inside your coat.
Sure enough, on scottevest.com there were pictures of his coat (like the one pictured) showing it packed with shirts and shoes, an iPad and toiletries, socks and underwear with the advice, "Just send the coat through the airport x-ray [and] save time and money on extra bag fees."
It all sounds very clever but, if the coat is going to end up shoved into an overhead locker along with a cabin bag and some duty free, it's also very selfish.
Here's another idea. Why not just accept that the rules are there for everyone, that you aren't actually so special that you're entitled to use up other passengers' space in the overhead lockers, and behave reasonably like the rest of us.