Have you got baggage?

Yes I know you do …. we all do.  But I am not talking about that emotional baggage that has inspired a whole host of websites where you can email in anonymously and unload all your problems….supposedly walking away a whole lot happier.  Really?  Odd thought that.  Maybe it does work..

Nope I am talking about plain old baggage.  Bags that you put your stuff in and take with you on a trip on a plane.  It seems simple doesn’t it.  But it’s not and it’s getting worse.

In the good old days you booked a flight, packed a suitcase, took a big bag as your carry on in which you packed all the stuff you didn’t want to lose (yes sorry airlines and airports but you do suck when it comes to lost baggage) and got on the plane.  Nobody hassled you about your huge tapestry bag bulging at the seams.  My goodness, I remember a flight from Zimbabwe to South Africa.  You should have seen the stuff coming on there as carry on.  I swear there were probably live chickens somewhere there!

Nowadays you get to check in – which of course you have to do yourself because machines are better than people – NOT.  You fiddle around with the machine and it asks you how many bags are you checking and suddenly it’s asking for more money!  What?  Mmm- maybe you didn’t read the fine print but for this class of service (in other words lower priced ticket) you have to pay for your luggage sonny boy!  (Cheap %*&#@@).

Just google fees for checked  baggage and you will bring up pages and pages of law suits against the airlines for this that and the other, related to baggage fees.  It really is strange because it seems that with airlines today it just takes one airline to say “Mmm – what do you think?  Can we get away with charging for checked baggage?”.  They implement this plan and the other airlines sit back and say …..

“WOW – Brilliant”.  Let’s do it!

Soooooo…. long story short.  People want to cut down on the cost of a weekend away so they don’t check their luggage.   They bring everything on board the flight.  Have you ever noticed how people getting on a flight who are maybe sitting at the back of the plane will just casually put their carry on in the bin over the business class seats at the front.  Much easier to have your carry on up there than at the back – and maybe there is no room at the back either.

Next brilliant airline idea – let’s charge for carry on.  The way they are going to charge however will be to ban those people who bought the cheap fares from using the overhead bins and only the people who bought the more expensive fare will be allowed to use the overhead bins.  This probably means a longer boarding process as the flight attendants have to check everyone’s ticket to see the status and whether or not they are allowed to use the over head bins.

What’s next?  An even lower fare basis that will mean you can’t use the overhead bins or the toilets?  Remember to pack the Depends!


By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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