Sunday, April 18, 2010

ima leavin' on a jet plane

i've been away from home a lot recently. first the vacay with the kids, and i just got back from a quick business trip. i love visiting clients, i love to travel, but i hate being away from home at the same time. i try to be here as much as possible for my family. they suffer when i am gone. one of my dogs (i'm 98 percent sure it's stormy. i shake my fist in her general direction!!!!) has taken to peeing and pooping on my carpet in the living room when i am gone as a way to express her displeasure with my absence.

i am an experienced traveler. i don't fly nearly as often as my co-workers, but i'm not the casual vacationer, either. i never fail to be amazed at the behavior of people in airports, including on the shuttle, in the airport and on the airplane. (i wrote a huge post on this over at my old school blog, see hear speak no evil. check it out sometime...)

airlines have made a major mistake in charging people to check bags on airplanes. because people are too cheap to check a bag (and i am one of those people), this has resulted in the following:

1. longer times to get through security, because there are more bags to be screened. more quart-sized bags of liquids 3 oz or less have to be removed from luggage. sidebar: as a woman who loves her products, traveling can be quite the challenge with the 3 oz limitation.

2. people attempt to take luggage on the plane that has NO BUSINESS BEING ANYWHERE inside the cabin. also, a family of 5 would rather take 5 carry-on pieces FOR FREE than check 2 large suitcases and be done with it. this takes up tons of space on board.

3. boarding the plane takes much longer than it needs to, mostly because people are bringing more stuff on board. flight attendants have to spend time jamming stuff into the overhead bins and rearranging bags. this is time that i'd rather have them spend on making half decent coffee. coffee that i don't have to chew before i can swallow it.

4. more times than not, my "carry-on" luggage is checked at the gate. most times, this is due to the fact that i am stuck flying on one of those spacious regional jets, so i realize this doesn't happen to everyone. this means my bags are being handled exactly like your "checked" luggage that you paid for. the only difference is i get my stuff right at the gate, instead of having to find the baggage claim and waiting 20 minutes for it to be unloaded. so... you totally got ripped off. that's what i'm trying to say.

work through this with me. airports/airlines are paying the baggage handlers on the ground $15 an hour, no matter how many bags they check, right? so whether they handle 10 bags or 100, they make the same wage.

people have always tried to carry on way too much stuff. airlines should charge for additional carry-on luggage... i believe this would speed the lines through security, it would speed up the boarding of the plane, and people would think twice about bringing so much stuff on board.

be honest, when the ticket agent at the gates starts yakking about "limited carry-on space on board," do you even listen? i sure as hell don't. i'm taking on my carry-on, my laptop bag AND my purse. who is going to stop me? and yeah, i'm going to put it in the overhead bin, NOT under my seat. why should i be uncomfortable for the flight? i paid as much as everyone else did, and they brought as much stuff on board as i did.

so, airlines. you've got it backwards. you should be charging people to carry on their luggage. it's not the checked baggage that is bogging you down.


Emilie said...

I read last week that Spirit Airlines is starting to charge customers a minimum of $20 per item put in the overhead bins. If it fits under the seat, no charge.

I won't be surprised when airlines start charging us to use the restroom on flight. As if any of us want to use those smelly things anyway.

annikab said...

UGH flying makes me crazy! I am always wondering to myself. Am I doing this right? are they gonna take my stuff? Am I gonna get tackled for having a pack of gum in my purse?
Oh and the last time I tried to go to SHSNE, my virus thing on my computer wouldn't let it load. Don't know what that means so I just don't go there.

Connie Weiss said...

I'm going to start flying naked.

Anonymous said...

of course you put your stuff in the overhead bin. i, however, put mine [completely ]under the seat in front of me ~ mostly because i am too short to reach the overhead bin... and then i can't reach it under the seat in front of me either!