The end of free carry-on luggage?

The end of free carry-on luggage?

How one airline wants extra cash - plus the rest in this week's transport news.

Each week, the BBC Autos editors select their favourite transport-related news stories, features and videos from around the web.

This week, we noticed a trend toward offering creative solutions to global transportation problems.

Some of the suggestions are quirky, innovative and intelligent, but others are likely to make travellers groan - or giggle, at best.

Carry on without your carry-on

In an effort to save money and increase customer spending, United Airlines will restrict some passengers' access to overhead compartments.

The Huffington Post reports that United will be the first US airline to limit "basic economy" flyers to a single free carry-on bag that can fit under a seat.

In other words, starting next year, those who purchase the cheapest fares will only be allowed one personal item that fits under the seat in front of them.

In addition, customers buying these low-fare tickets will be unable to accrue airline miles and will be randomly assigned seating the day of the flight.

United's move to limit carry-on bags and charge more for flying perks isn't a novel concept. As BBC Autos reported back in October, airlines are struggling with reducing cargo weight.

Because heavier bags - and heavier passengers - result in significantly higher fuel bills, airlines such as Samoa Air have implemented a "fat tax" that means overweight passengers have to pay more for a ticket.

Paper bike helmet wins big

A paper bike helmet has been awarded this year's international James Dyson Award, BBC News reports.

The foldable, recyclable helmet was invented with bike-share riders in mind and will cost less than $5. Best of all, it's a tough and effective head protector.

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