On my recent trip to New Orleans, given that I was only traveling for four days, and not a women, I only needed to pack one bag. I elected to take only a carry-on – an easy decision given that checking luggage costs one-fourth as much as the actual ticket. The only problem was that everyone else came to the same conclusion, and so I was forced (yes, literally) to check my bag in the jetway, while almost everyone else carried one of their two bags onto the plane. They didn’t care about that argument; next time I’ll know to bring a second, decoy bag.
The problem basically is this: even with my tax dollars, the airlines are apparently unable to turn a profit. So they decided to start charging people to check bags. Consequently, everyone stopped checking bags. So now there is no longer enough room on the plane for all the carry-on luggage. Especially when the plane is full – or, technically, more than full. (Sidebar: How hard is it to count the fucking seats, and only sell that many tickets?) Of course, two of my four flights were actually not full; once we all got seated the overhead compartments were totally empty. They didn’t care about that argument either. From which I’m forced to conclude that this policy has nothing to do with the bags themselves.
The simple solution would be to return to the status quo and allow people to check bags for free. But that doesn’t help keep your company from hemorrhaging money, so the airlines decided to go a different way. Now they make passengers wait in a freezing jetway, in the hopes that some will just pony up the cash to avoid the hassle. I call that a shakedown. The airline calls it “valet carry-on service”.
- This is not a “carry-on” bag. I wanted it to be a carry-on bag, but you wouldn’t let me. It’s a checked bag.
- This is not “valet” service. A valet is someone who parks your car for you, not someone who walks up and takes your car away before you can park it yourself. Actually, there is an automotive analogy for that situation, but it isn’t valet service. It’s carjacking.
Fuck you, “valet” “carry-on” baggage.