As a frequent traveler on commercial airlines, I would like to respond to the article on the Federal Page {Dec. 24} by Laura Parker. She described the deliberations of the Federal Aviation Administration as it considers tightening restrictions on carry-on luggage.

The article described some of the most outrageous articles passengers try to bring onto airplanes, as recounted by airline cabin attendants. One flight attendant summed up the article when she said, "People don't want to be inconvenienced. I don't know how you're going to get the bags away from people."

But the story made no attempt to determine why passengers are so "unreasonable" and what is meant by the term "inconvenience." The article left the reader chuckling over the inexplicable and bizarre behavior of airline passengers.

I would like to help explain why passengers are so "unreasonable." Airlines lose checked baggage. Regularly. Of my last five flights, on which I checked luggage, some or all of it was lost on three. Of course I got it back. Most of it. Eventually. And my experience is not unique.

Passengers do not carry on luggage to avoid waiting for the bags to be delivered after the flight. The inconvenience of carrying them far outweighs the short wait.

I dislike carrying my heavy luggage around airports between connections and stuffing it into a crowded passenger compartment. But my day can be ruined when I arrive at my destination and my luggage does not. Most people who carry all their luggage have learned the hard way and check luggage only as an absolute last resort.

The cabin attendants who were quoted in the story have an excellent perspective. Excess luggage in the passenger cabin is inconvenient and dangerous. But the attendants' responsibility and viewpoint go only as far as the cabin door.

The airlines can "get the bags away from people" with one simple maneuver. Travelers will hand over their "car doors, steer heads, piano benches, 40-pound garment bags and bicycles" if the airlines will only stop misplacing them.

MICHAEL L. COWAN

Rockville