It’s time to get rid of airspace in planes

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Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP (Getty Images)

Coming back from the Indianapolis 500, my first plane was already late, which cut a good 15 minutes from my already tight connection time in Chicago. A few people seemed to realize that it might be a good idea to pick up the pace and get on board quickly. But not a single man. Oh no. Not the man in front of me who decided to take a good two minutes to stow his luggage in the overhead compartment.

Now I would like to preface this by saying that I, too, used the top bin space. If I’m on a short work trip, it’s nice to be able to pack my smallest suitcase and walk out of the airport as soon as I land. I don’t blame anyone for this.

But there are several unspoken rules regarding top tray space. You should, for example, be able to store this luggage yourself or have an emergency plan in place to receive assistance. Luggage must fit in the trash can. Luggage should be stowed exactly as shown – increasingly stashing your bag to the side to maximize bin space. Items such as hats, jackets, small purses or backpacks are not considered hanging baggage. You must stow your luggage above your own seat. The whole process should take 30 seconds or less.

So many people, however, break these simple rules – like the terrible man in front of me on my flight from Indy to Chicago. He had a wheeled bag to put over his head, but he also had a bag of crisps in one hand and a small briefcase in the other.

The solution to his problem was not complex. He could have placed his chips, his briefcase or both in the seat where he had to sit before store your luggage. He could have put either object on the floor or between his legs. But this man did not seem to realize it. He stood there for several long, excruciating moments thinking about his situation. He looked at his luggage. He looked at his chips. He looked at his briefcase. He thinks a little more about things. He looked into the upper space of the bin, which had ample room for his bag. He continued to think.

I was milliseconds away from offering just put that fucking bag away for him when he finally made a move. Instead of putting anything down, this man tried to use his one flea bag hand to pick up his luggage. It did not work. He tried the briefcase in his hand. That also didn’t work. He tried both hands, which were full.

And there, at last, he saw a flash of success. The wheels of the rollerboard had arrived in the trash!

There was a problem, however: he hadn’t aimed, and instead of packing his luggage into the huge empty space before him, he had grabbed someone’s backpack (and this the person too deserves a special place in hell for placing a half-empty backpack in the luggage rack instead of under his seat). Now I had to watch this man pull his suitcase out of the backpack and then try to move the backpack while trying to put the luggage away.

I am normally a patient person, but in this situation I literally felt my whole soul leaving my body. It was gone. He had gone to a different realm, and the empty cavity of my body was instead inhabited by a demon that directly spawned pits of hell. I wanted to let out a scream worthy of this demon, but I kept my mouth shut, and this terrible man finally packed up his luggage, leaving the rest of the plane to board.

At this point, I believe we have all lost our airline baggage privileges. I understand that checking a bag is expensive and stressful. I understand that many people do not want to check in a bag containing, for example, camera equipment or medical supplies. But we have collectively lost our privileges. Instead of paying to save a bag, we should now pay to store a bag in the overhead compartment. Otherwise, fuck them. No more overhead luggage. We just can’t handle it.

#time #rid #airspace #planes

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