Published: January 19th 2011January 19th 2011
So I’ve been on a lot of planes lately. I find myself traveling often right here within the USA. I can’t help but notice some things in my travels, and figured I’d share, what with this being the new era of sharing and social networking and all.
Let’s start with today. Today I flew outside of my comfort zone. In other words, I left the lovely bubble of being a Diamond Medallion Delta Skymiles member, and flew like a regular person with no medallion or awards status whatsoever on American Airlines. It was the first time in AWHILE that I didn’t get upgraded to first/business class. I know. Shocking. And sad. But it is hard to have no status, standing there in Group 5, waiting for all those American Airlines elite status people to board and take up all the overhead bin space. I do not like checking a bag anymore because I refuse to either wait for my bag for an extra hour or so after I’ve landed somewhere, OR wait for my bag for an extra hour or so except this time it actually doesn’t show up at all. So I’ve learned to pack within the confines of my carry-on bag, no matter if I’m flying international or domestic, for 2 days or for 7.
So anyway, back to today. I get on the plane after approximately 400 other people, and miracle of miracles, there is bin space right near my seat. This is particularly good news since I have a layover (another thing I haven’t had in many, many months), and I really don’t want to check my bags (see paragraph above as to why). So I lift my bag over my head, and start to shove it in the bin. Except that it won’t go. And it really doesn’t look like it’s going to go. A nice stranger/gentleman starts helping me – we turn the bag this way and that, wheels first, sideways, handle first, but something is stopping the bag. The man declares it hopeless, and moves on. I, on the other hand, am nowhere near done yet. I hurl the bag down on the seat that is already holding my way-too-big backpack, unzip the bag, and start rearranging and pulling stuff out. Hat, gloves, scarf: to the backpack. Take the bag up again. Does it fit? Nope. Stand on the seat to get better leverage and shove with all my might. Does it fit? Nope. Take the bag back down again only to get one of the zippers caught in my hair. Try not to rip hair out while still looking cool. Success? Well I removed my hair from the zipper without ripping too much out, but did I look cool? Decidedly not. And all the other even lower-than-me-peons are waiting patiently while I maneuver all this. I do of course step into my seat row during all the unpacking so that people may make their way beyond my row. I am a courteous traveler, after all. OK, so re-open the bag. Slippers: to the inside of the bag in a corner that seemed downright roomy. Black sweater: rip it out of the bag and toss it on another seat. Why did I bring that sweater again? Oh yeah, because I was just in Minneapolis where the low today was -7 and the high was 7. Did I know that I would never actually set foot outside in Minneapolis other than to get from the hotel door to the car on the way to the airport? No, I did not know this. Otherwise I assure you, my bag wouldn’t be quite so damn fat. Do I resent the sweater at this moment since now I’m heading to balmy Austin, Texas? Why yes, yes I do. One more time, up with the bag. Does it fit? NOPE. The flight attendant tells me I must take whatever is out of the front pocket. I confirm for her that there is nothing in that pocket. Now a new kind, stranger gentleman appears. Due to his height, he observes that my luggage logo is caught. We grab luggage logo, and shove it in a forceful downward motion. Does the bag fit? YES. YES. YES! So now, all I have to do is: stop sweating, pack new items into my already over-stuffed backpack, and settle into my Coach seat for the flight.
Now that’s what I call fun flying.