Being a news junkie and all, I read all sorts of stuff besides The New York Times. You really can get a balanced list thanks to the internet and I take full advantage of that. Thanks to the internet, I am a regular over at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The London Telegraph, Ha'Artez and even Al Jazeera. Clearly, I don't agree with everything in those sheets, but it does help to know what the opposition is thinking.
It started a while back with the Duchess of York. And then, for reasons I cannot fathom, she went off on then Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, and her family. She wrote things that were not nice in the worst possible way. And I'd pretty much stopped reading her column because I don't like mean.
But I happened to catch her column on Friday...probably because it was about travel, Skies not so friendly. About recent travel experiences, she ranted about flight attendants who would not pick up her carry-on luggage and hoist it into the overhead bin.
This week I made two United flights. To San Jose, Costa Rica, and back.
Despite my difficulty, male cabin attendants ignored my hand-luggage problem.
Each issued the precise phraseology: “I have a bad back.” Neither expanded
that terse statement. Gentlemen passengers came to my rescue.
Three crewmen on different flights suffering identically? Explaining the ailment
identically? Either geriatric stewards need be retired or they’ve agreed: “Screw
this. We’re not luggage schleppers.”
She went on to describe other adventures on the road that made her sound like the original poster child for the ugly American. But it was that luggage thing that got my bungies in a knot.
Being on the business travel side of the travel business, I rarely side with the airlines but this time, I felt for every person on that plane who had to deal with Madame Adams and her carry on bags. And my professional take on this is Lady, if you can't manage yer own luggage, check it.
Now, for the record, I think charging for luggage is an outrage. You are already paying exorbitant amounts to sit squashed in a sardine can and now, the airlines are charging you for a virtual seat for your bag...unless you wish to risk life and limb of your fellow sardines by bringing your anvil sample case into the cabin. I've watched those things being swung over your head like a kapporah chicken only to be shoved into a bin where the attendant has to slam the door three or four times to make sure that catch catches, thereby preventing said anvil from tumbling out during takeoff. The next excitement occurs at the end of the flight as everyone crams into the foot wide aisle to get the hell off the plane...but not before attempting to decapitate the nearest unsuspecting person when removing the anvil from the overhead bin.
I can see why flight attendants say they have bad backs to avoid doing this for every little old person who comes aboard schlepping a box o'bricks for the grandchildren, expecting someone else will risk injury to hoist it into the bin. I'm pretty sure enough of them have been hurt doing that to justify saying, "No, I am unable to assist." It might be cheaper to schlep the thing on board, but really, relying on the kindness of strangers? If you can schlep it through the airport, you should be able to lift it yourself.
So far, no one's been killed by an anvil falling out of the overhead bin, but eventually it will happen. And when the airline gets sued for huge amounts of cash due to reckless endangerment, attractive nuisance, and wrongful death, then, maybe then, they will rethink this philosophy.
|Once upon a time on Swiss Air|
Or, they might decide it's more cost effective to ban carry-on luggage altogether and change those overhead bins into "top berth" sleeper seats. It's not like it's not been done before.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Planes are not the only way to travel.
There are trains, and sometimes, that's a great alternative.