I haven’t flown anyplace in quite a few years. I was and still am very tired of the hassle of getting on a plane, which of course is exacerbated by the new non-choice of either having the TSA take a naked picture of me, or getting felt up. My choice has been to drive, but when planning to visit relatives in Texas and Kansas over the holidays my wife announced that she was not driving – period – no ifs ands or butts about it.
To explain this, no I’m not pussy-whipped, she’s had 2 neck surgeries in the past few years and rotator cuff surgery, too. It’s become too much for her to drive 8-10-12 hours per day, her neck and back kill her, so I relented and told her we’d fly this year. Frankly, the drive is for the most part boring and it wasn’t a total bad thing in my mind to get there in a few hours instead of a few days.
So, I flew and got the TSA x-ray. I’m still alive, I didn’t hear laughter after it was taken, so that’s good, and best of all I didn’t get felt up by some dude with blue latex gloves on. The x-ray only happened for the first flight. The remainder were just the old-fashioned metal detectors, so no problems there, and neither of us got felt up or had body cavity searches, so that was good, too.
Considering I don’t fly very often and don’t plan on it unless there’s some drastic changes in my life, I’m not really too worried about the x-rays and frankly prefer them to getting felt up (if you haven’t figured that out by now). I’m not going to go off the deep end about the radiation as you probably get more during the flight or having a dental x-ray than you do from the TSA’s new toys. If I find out different at a later date I’ll get pissed off then.
So, as you can tell from the post title, what IS pissing me off is the baggage thing. I’m not happy about paying extra for checked bags, but I’ll do it because my wife’s suitcase about holds Macy’s women’s clothing and shoe line all by itself. If it could fit in the overhead bin, I’d have to hire a crane service to get it up there. Then I’d wonder if the overhead bins would collapse in mid-flight due to the weight. $20-$25 bucks isn’t going to break me, you can’t fight city hall, so that’s the deal.
What IS the problem? Well, it seems the friendly sky’s are populated by cheapskates who will do about anything humanly possible to avoid paying to check a bag on. The result is, when you get to the waiting area at the gate, almost everyone has 2 carry-on bags and those that don’t usually have one under the seat sized bag. If they want to schlep them around the airport and on to the plane, fine, it’s their problem not mine.
The BIG problem is about what happens when the plane starts loading up, which is totally FUBAR (you can Google it to see what it means). So what happens?
Well, if you’re one of the lucky ones who board first you have a shot at getting a bag in the overhead bin. If you’re one of the Johnny-come-latelys, you will drag your bags on to the plane and then suddenly discover that all the overhead bins are full and there’s no place to stow your larger bag that won’t fit under the seat.
All this baggage has already caused a massive boarding delay because there’s a lot of action trying to stuff suitcases into the overhead bins. It’s not just a few people like in the old days, but just about everyone. It is comical to see some of them try and get the bags into the bins as some of them appear so heavy they must have bricks inside.
Then there is more delay because the people who boarded after the bins were full have to figure out how to get their suitcases back off the plane, which usually involves the flight attendant at the front having to stop the remaining people boarding the plane so the unlucky ones can get back off, yet more delay.
Then there’s usually no one from the gate to check the bags in, so we have to wait for someone to get a phone call and come on down to take care of business. Then we have further delay because those bags have to be taken down and put into the cargo hold, where they should have been put to begin with. I had one flight that was 25 minutes late taking off because of all of this assing around.
Airlines, here’s my suggestion. Let everyone check in 1 bag for free and bring one that will fit under the seat for free, too. But PLEASE charge the hell out of everyone who carries on a larger suitcase that must be stowed in the overhead bin. The $25 bucks or whatever you charge per bag is not worth the delay that is caused. Please do this so that you don’t keep 100-200 or more people waiting around so you can make a fast buck. My time is worth money, too and I’m sure all the delays in takeoffs aren’t making you any money either.
It’s pretty bad when you’re happier getting your genitals shown on camera than dealing with the FUBAR that goes on when boarding the plane. It’s bad enough dealing with clueless people that can’t figure out what seat they’re supposed to sit in or that the seatbelt light means sit your ass down and buckle up. The BAGGAGE FUBAR is just too much.
Can we have some common sense prevail instead of the Insane Mind that thought this crap up?