I’ve just gotten on a plane for the second leg of a 3-leg journey from Chattanooga to Madrid. We’re about 5 minutes from our departure time. There are about a dozen people standing in the aisle trying to find places for their baggage. The flight attendant is announcing for the third time to bring your bags that won’t fit under the seat to the front so they can be checked.
Two men are desperately trying to keep their bags from being checked. One of them walks down the aisle asking if anyone has a small bag they can put under their seat to make room or if someone else will check a bag to make room for theirs. “Does anyone want to help!? We’ve got a long way to go!” He calls out as he moves through the aisle.
I am offended more by his lack of logic than his imposition. I cannot put together the pieces in his mind that tell him he is somehow more entitled to overhead space or that he will somehow be more inconvenienced than anyone else on the plane would be by having to check his bag. What about the distance you have to fly makes whether you check your bag or not more or less convenient? Does he believe he’s the only one on the plane who has a connection?
There is a ruckus at the front of the plane and I hear a flight attendant declare in a voice just below a shout, “Back off, sir!” I momentarily wish I had an aisle seat so I could see what is happening. At this point, I find myself worried that these guys are terrorists with some horrible plot dependent on them having their carry-ons on the plane. I am relieved that they are forced to check their bags. I would feel better if they were removed from the plane all together. After all, perhaps it would be a good lesson for them to understand that the odds of making a connection on time are greatest when you cooperate with the flight crew.
Perhaps they just don’t understand that the airline will check their bags all the way through to their destination and they don’t have to go pick them up between flights. Or maybe they’ve done this trip a dozen times and every time they checked their bags, their luggage was forever lost? I don’t know.
I’ve had to check my bag when I didn’t want to more than once. It’s annoying, but less annoying than delaying take off by acting like a brat. I’ve had luggage lost on many occasions. The worst was when my bag went to Ecuador, Panama, New Jersey, and Houston while I was in Austin. It took 3 days to catch up with me. I had to go shopping and then ship a portion of the contents of my bag home to make room for my purchases. I lived.