Baggage

     Remember when the overhead bins on airplanes were actually used for, this is a radical thought, items the passenger might actually need or want while the plane was in the air?
     I don’t fly all that often, once or twice every couple of years. So it surprised me somewhat on three recent flights I took over the span of two weeks in late July to watch my flights get bogged down in a sea of cheapskates looking to cheat the airlines out of checked baggage fees, stuffing not the occasional briefcase or duffel bag, but rather miniature suitcases, into the overhead bins prior to takeoff.
     Don’t get me wrong. I can’t stand checked baggage fees. I think they’re an affront to reason and common sense. Just raise the price of tickets already. It’s like watching Florida gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum try to explain away across-the-board raised fees as not really being increased taxes, in his fight to out-Nazify veteran fraudster and semi-pro Mr. Clean impersonator Rick Scott in their oh-so-pleasant primary fight. Don’t insult our intelligence is all most adults ask.
     In a somewhat ironic twist, because so many people are looking to save a few bucks, airlines have to be seeing an increased problem getting planes out of the gate on time. I don’t have any statistical analysis to prove it, but I couldn’t have been on the only four flights in America to watch wheeled carry-on after wheeled carry-on get heaved into the bins, the cabin taking on overtones of a Middle East bazaar on payday.
     My aggravation only increased when I was the target of scorn by a stewardess who sniffed that my carry on, a laptop computer in a thin bag, wasn’t big enough for the overhead bin and should be stored under the seat in front of me. I wasn’t aware the new rules of flying required me to be inconvenienced for several hours because I didn’t drag a thirty pound bag into the cabin.
     As I soared twenty thousand feet over western Nebraska, my laptop safely tucked in among the red and tweed “carry-ons” rattling gently overhead, I wondered why anyone would subject themselves to a job where the chief responsibility is taking the brunt of anger for a policy dreamed up by people who wouldn’t dare fly the friendly skies in anything less than a Gulfstream.

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