I’ll let that sink in for a few moments.
I spend a lot of time in airports.
I see a lot of strange things.
Doing strange things.
No, I’m not one of them.
Ok, maybe a little.
But I figured out that people can be completely ‘normal’ functioning human beings until they step into airports and onto a plane.
Particularly three places in an airport and in a plane:
1. The Check-in Counters
2. The Security Check
3. In the plane.
Today, we’ll talk about the first place:
The Check-In Counter
Perhaps it’s because I travel more than most people because of my job, that I’ve come to expect everyone to have the same knowledge as me.
But they don’t.
It’s no excuse.
Really it isn’t.
There is a baggage allowance for ever person and most of us don’t have the luxury of always travelling business or first class so we have the standard 20kgs we’re allowed to take.
Some travellers, such as the one I experienced, like to take that on as a challenge.
“Let’s see how many things we can get into this suitcase, pretend it’s 20kgs, strap five bag straps around it to keep it closed while we sit on it to squash it down and check it in. What’s the problem!”
Now, I mean it’s really not my issue and people should do what people are gonna do …… BUT …. It’s pretty darn obvious to me that if your suitcase doesn’t really close, no matter how many of those bag straps you tie around it, it ain’t gonna be within the baggage allowance limit.
Said travellers will still look completely shocked when the check-in assistant says “sorry ma’am your bag is 31kgs” …..(never mind the issue of the no-closing-fully-overloaded bag) …
“Oh dear, are you sure?” They say.
“Are you sure your scales are right?” They question.
“Can you test my bag on a different scale? I’m sure yours isn’t right.” They try their luck.
“Sure ma’am (said through ‘the customer is always right’ gritted teeth), bring it on over to the next counter”
Traveller pulls said suitcase off scale and, with the help of the extended family who have come to wish her a safe journey, they each take a corner and drag it, huffing and puffing, the clearly 20kgs (!!!) suitcase over to the next counter.
All working together, they count the lift in “1…2…3…LIFT” and put the clearly 20kgs onto the scale at the next counter.
“Ma’am, as you’ll notice, the scale is the same as the first”
“I really can’t believe it. Our scale at home said 18kgs. Can we try one more?” They say in disbelief.
(I want their scale for my weekly weigh-in….13kgs under…awesome!)
“I’m afraid not ma’am, there is a long queue of people trying to check-in.Your bag is 31kgs on this scale, on the last scale and on any scale in this airport.”
Traveller realises they aren’t going to get anywhere with this super-savvy check-in assistant.
Traveller pulls said suitcase off scale and, with the help of the extended family who have come to wish her a safe journey, they each take a corner and drag it, huffing and puffing, the clearly 20kgs (!!!) suitcase over to the original counter.
All working together, they count the lift in “1…2…3…LIFT” and put the clearly 20kgs onto the scale at the original counter.
Traveller now has to open the offending suitcase….. first carefully removing the five bag straps they’ve put around it to try to keep it closed,while carefully ensuring none of their “intimates” fly out when the suitcase bursts open with freedom in mind …. And take stuff out.
They’re oblivious to the growing queue behind them and the sound of tapping feet and huffs and puffs ….. Probably from frequent travellers, like me, who are thinking …. “Seriously??.”
They hand 13kgs of their suitcase content to the extended family, and continue to check-in, still grumbling under their breath that airport baggage scales are shockingly overweight!
The check-in person is a saint.
As I’m heading through security, I see the extended family helping the traveller put all those 13kgs back into her hand luggage and in her handbag.
I’m taking a different queue.
Come back for Part 2: The Security Check!