Airbus and Lufthansa Have Ideas to Free up Overhead Bins for Passengers

Apr 12, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Most frequent travelers have been there: You board an aircraft early, ready to store your trusty carry-on in the overhead bin. But, when you go to open the bin, it’s filled with emergency equipment, service items or flight attendant bags. So, you either have to swim back upstream to store your bag over someone else’s seat or head farther back in the plane, delaying you on arrival.

Well, on display at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, this week are two solutions for how to give you back that overhead bin space, and both solutions look remarkably similar — adding storage compartments to the middle of the aisle.

Lufthansa Technik

Lufthansa Technik’s “Center Ceiling Stowage+” is a pretty straightforward solution of a pull-down compartment. The bin can hold up to 38.5kg (85 lbs) and is designed to hold “less frequently used equipment,” such as emergency equipment, baby bassinets, collapsible wheelchairs or crew luggage.

Lufthansa’s CCS+ is fully certified and ready to install in the Airbus A320 family (A318, A319, A320, A321) — and installation only takes two days. For now, the unit is certified to add up to two per aircraft (forward and aft), but the airline is working on certifying a third position in the middle. When installed, the bin still gives 2 meters of head clearance — only becoming a height issue for those taller than 6’6″.

When asked if the product would be expanded to wide-body aircraft, the project manager said not yet, as there isn’t as much of a need. Instead, Lufthansa Technik is looking next to certify the product on the Boeing 737.

Airbus

The Airbus Ceiling Stowage solution is certified to hold 40kg (88 lbs) and up to 115 liters of capacity (over 4 cubic feet / 30 gallons). The Airbus option allows 1.95 meters of height in the cabin when installed, becoming an issue for those taller than 6’4″.

Understandably, Airbus has only developed this product for Airbus aircraft, and it’s ready to go on the A319 (up to two bins), A320 (up to two bins) and A321 (up to three bins).

There are two notable features on the Airbus Ceiling Stowage solution that are not on the Lufthansa model: lighting and a double-locking mechanism. Airbus’ product incorporates mood lightning into the sides of the bin. But the creative double-locking function is my favorite part of the Airbus solution. Designed to prevent unauthorized access to the bin, passengers can pull down on the handle as hard as they want to and won’t be able to fully open the bin.

Airbus Ceiling Stowage compartment double-locking mechanism.

However, Airbus’ ceiling stowage solution has a downside: It’s only available as a retrofit to A319, A320 and A321s “classic cabin.” The bin isn’t “part of the Airspace concept.” Airbus is also looking to bring the idea to wide-bodies. There’s a super-secretive model of the A330 version that was walled off from public viewing at AIX. During my tour, I wasn’t even able to look at it, much less take any photos of it.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.