Improving Air Travel – I

I think I mentioned a little while back that I was retiring my “Waiting For A Plane” series, which had reached 30 installments, of posts written in airport waiting areas. So I am not sure how to characterize this one, which was written yesterday in Munich while I was waiting for a plane.

I have several other unpublished posts about some recent air travel experiences that I hope to get to over the next few weeks. As my frequency of flying has picked up, I’ve begun to dislike air travel. When it was an occasional thing I could look on it more as an adventure and laugh at the inefficiencies and inconvenience. When it is a regular occurrence there’s a little less tolerance.    

The young lady was insistent. She had to tag my bag and I could drop it off at the stairs to the plane. That was her job.IMG_20181027_0722555

“It’s a small plane,” she said. “You can’t take it on board.”

The concept of carry-on luggage seems to have disappeared on flights I have taken recently. Someone is always trying to separate me from my bag.

I don’t take kindly to that, especially at 5:45 a.m.  My carry-on is the approved size; there shouldn’t be a problem. It has my computer and other electronics inside, plus personal items. Having to take those out doesn’t appeal to me. Especially, as was the case yesterday when flying from Basel to Munich, when passengers had to walk across the tarmac to the  plane in pouring rain. I don’t think electronic devices like rain.

In this instance, I pointed out that the plane in question was a CRJ-900, a small regional jet built by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier. I’ve flown on this type before. Admittedly the overhead bins are rather small – but my bag fits under the seat. That doesn’t leave me much leg room, but for a short flight it doesn’t matter to me. The woman was adamant, no luggage was going on board.IMG_20181027_0722579

That wasn’t true, as I discovered whey I got to my seat. Lots of people, including me, had brought their bags with them. I had talked with  a crew member at the stairs to the plane who told me to go ahead and take the bag aboard.

I’m still wondering though what the rationale is. I understand manufacturers might not build planes with enough in-cabin storage space (though I don’t understand why they do that). Why then allow any carry-on luggage? Why not just outlaw the stuff completely?

Imagine the outcry. That policy would never fly. Plus, the airlines don’t want the responsibility for handling all the electronic devices people travel with these days. There would probably be compensation issues to address with every flight.

The flight to Munich had lots of empty seats. I had a row to myself, which meant I had lots of leg room, even with the bag under the seat in front of me. So I can think of no valid reason why people had to be separated from their bags, except maybe it is just bureaucracy. Not that airlines would event succumb to bureaucracy, would they?

Being separated from your carry-on in this fashion isn’t that big a deal, in theory anyway, provided you aren’t carrying anything important in it. You are reunited with your bag as you exit the plane, so there is no delay. It’s not like checked luggage where you have to wait.

Still, I don’t have to like it – especially since there seems no reason for doing it that way.

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