Loading...
BYH ECU Trustees. Of course you were not told about the lawsuit against Vidant. Harry Smith and Bill Roper control it...

The baggage game

JimMullen

Jim Mullen

Loading…

Sunday, March 10, 2019

I paid $70 to check two bags on a recent flight so I would be baggage-free. It was worth $70 not to watch after two bags while using the restroom or grabbing a bite to eat in a connecting airport.

There's a reason they call it luggage. You have to "lug" it. Many people don't think it's worth the money to check their bags. So, in addition to their cell phones and laptops, they also carry coats and shopping bags and fast food, all stacked up on top of a rolling bag or two. If I took a picture of people waiting in the departure "lounge" of most airports and told you it was a group of people who camp beneath an underpass, you'd believe it.

Since absolutely no one except me checks their luggage, the security gates, waiting rooms and the terminal shops are clogged with people carrying more baggage for a four-hour flight than they'd need on a six-week safari. This despite the signs all over the airport stating that all bags bigger than a breadbox must be checked, and that passengers are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item that must fit under the seat.

I followed the rules and got charged $70, thank you very much. Everyone else did whatever they pleased. Talk about rewarding bad behavior. The airlines could save a ton of money by not bothering to post all those signs telling people not to take luggage on to the plane when, obviously, they can and they do.

And it's not just luggage. Pillows seem popular, especially with college-age kids. Oh, not those little things that go around your neck, but full-sized pillows, the kind most of us leave on the bed. I wonder if kids carry these pillows around campus? I hear it's hard to fall asleep in the lecture hall without a good pillow — the seats are sooo hard. I actually know people who have gone an entire day without carrying around a pillow. Not to brag, but I've done it myself many times. Like, every day.

I am all for being comfortable, but this is an airplane ride, not a three-month-long covered wagon ride across the plains. Why is it that the same people who can sit in front of a TV set for 10 hours binge-watching "The Walking Dead" can't sit still for four hours on a plane? Most people will get to their destination in hours, not months, and in relative comfort compared to, say, seven days on a dusty stagecoach going from Phoenix to Tombstone. I'm not saying modern travel is fun — the whole airport experience is disheartening — but it is fast compared to what our recent ancestors had to endure. We've probably all taken trips where waiting for the luggage to come off the carousel took longer than the flight, where waiting for the shuttle bus to the airport hotel took longer than the drive to the airport. It's no wonder everyone wants to carry their luggage with them, but there's really not much the airlines can do. If one airline enforces the rules, people will just switch to the airline that doesn't make you check your oversized carry-ons and pillows.

What is in all that luggage? Clothes, of course. But when people get on the plane wearing flip-flops and shorts, and then struggle to put two big, heavy cases in the overhead rack, it's hard to believe those cases are full of suits and ties. Especially when the plane's going to Miami. It's got to be something they simply can't live without for seven days. Food, maybe? Their favorite mattress? A comfort animal or two? Gold bars? The world's heaviest underwear?

No, their stuff is probably just like mine, except I'm not lugging it everywhere I go.

Jim Mullen is the author of It Takes a Village Idiot: A Memoir of Life After the City. His column, The Village Idiot, takes a look at the curiosities of American life.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

May 26, 2019

Reader Hansy Jones suggested The Reflector publish the following memoir about the end of World War II from Dr. Earl Trevathan of Pitt County in honor of Memorial Day. Trevathan, who was in the navy, shared it with the paper.

Our ship, the USS Gosper, a Navy casualty troop transport vessel, was…

Gosper

May 26, 2019

In a recent editorial, the News and Observer of Raleigh, N.C., commented that “Homelessness is not just about being without a home. It’s about being without a friend, without a family member, without someone who can be your first resort, or your last.”

But what might it actually…

haskill.jpg

May 26, 2019

Congratulations, graduates! One day, you'll look back on the past six years and say, "Those college days were the happiest of my life."

Honestly, I'm guessing you'll say that just a couple of days after you leave here and move back into your parents' house. And every day afterward.

Many of you will…

JimMullen

May 26, 2019

North Carolina likes to be No. 1 — at everything.

We declare ourselves to be “First in Flight.” But it took a couple of Ohio boys to make that happen.

We declare ourselves to be “First in Freedom” based on the May 20, 1775, Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a…

DGMartin.jpg

May 26, 2019

This story is part of an occasional series of features provided by the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission that will focus on city’s history and historic structures.

Passerby’s on Fifth Street have long wanted to know the story of the little old looking convenience store known…

landmark.jpg

May 25, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The nation's largest Protestant denomination reported its twelfth year of declining membership in an annual report released Thursday.

The Southern Baptist Convention said it had 14.8 million members in 2018, down about 192,000 from the previous year. Baptisms also declined…

Southern Baptist Decline

May 24, 2019

Which genie do you like best — Robin Williams or Will Smith?

Both actors have played Aladdin’s djinn in a bottle. Well, a magic lamp actually.

Both versions are Disney movies, one an animated cartoon, and now the live action film. Disney has appropriated the middle-eastern folk…

Aladdin

May 24, 2019

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

A DOG’S JOURNEY — A reincarnated dog embarks on a lifelong quest to watch over its owner's young granddaughter. (1 hour, 48 minutes) Rated PG.

*ALADDIN — A street urchin teams up with a…

May 22, 2019

When I was young, one of my favorite side dishes was rice pilaf. It came in a slim box with a portion of rice and a sachet of spices, dehydrated chicken stock — and goodness knows what else — all set to prepare with water on the stovetop.

The results were salty, addictive and…

Homemade Rice Pilaf

May 22, 2019

Summer is almost here and that means many local restaurants and eateries will be featuring new products that pay homage to the hot summer months. They will not only cool us off with fun summer drinks and help us unwind, but help you enjoy a relaxing meal with fresh veggies, seafood and other summer…

20190509_132556.jpg
214 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 22
        Next Page»   Last Page»