Jul 20 2008

To hell with luggage limits!

I’ve been thinking about this new U.S. airline industry strategy of charging customers to check their luggage, which in my experence, most savvy flyers avoid doing anyway. Business travellers and backpackers alike know how much more quickly you can get in and out of an airport if you limit yourself to a carry-on. (Not to mention the fact that you significantly reduce the chance of an airline losing your luggage if you don’t check any in the first place.)

But from what I can tell, any efficiency and savings that passengers and/or the airlines gain via the new rules will be lost when virtually everybody who boards a plane does so with a carry-on bag. Security checkpoints will take longer to clear and the boarding process itself will be even more chaotic and time-consuming.

And even if the airlines in question actually enforce their own carry-on luggage limits (something that most of them have not bothered to do before now), you don’t need to be a math wiz to realize that there isn’t enough overhead compartment space to accomodate every passenger on a fully-booked flight. If you’re among the last couple rows to board, forget it…your regulation carry-on is going to be taken by the flight crew and checked anyway.
So my new strategy is to fly with the absolute bare necessities: my iBook, a clean pair of undies, and a toothbrush.  And if the pilot looks anything like this guy, even the iBook and underwear will be optional.
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Feed my ego!

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