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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Flying Rules Are Actually a Godsend

Rather than ruining flying, the new no-liquids-on-board rule is a godsend

By
Dennis Byrne

Think about the two most annoying experiences about flying today: The long wait to get your carry-on baggage searched and the longer wait while obese fliers clog the cabin aisle while struggling with their equally obese carry-on bags.

Carry-on baggage in hands of inexperienced or self-absorbed passengers is a curse. How many times have you been stuck behind someone trying to squeeze, pound and implant their over-stuff suitcase into the overhead bin? How long does it take you to get off the plane while some fool—always at the front of the cabin ahead of you and scores of other passengers—struggles to extricate the same suitcase from the bin’s confines?

While outwardly the rest of us patiently cool our heels, I’d love to know how many are secretly wishing that the offending passengers themselves would get stuffed into the bins.

What is it with these people? Their precious things can’t be out of their sight for even an hour or two? Their conceit that their time is so much more important than ours that they can’t wait for checked luggage?

Read more at Human Events

2 comments:

Stephen Schade said...

Mr. Byrne:

Some flyers will always be inexperienced. Even minus a few liquid items, they will still take forever to put their bag in the bin. Now that a third of adults are obese, we are stuck with that problem as well. Charging them for two seats only means that it will be more difficult for the rest of us to book flights.

The no liquid rule may mean more checked baggage, but it will also eliminate my carry-on. As someone who packs light and likes to save time by avoiding baggage claim, I find it an inconvenience.

There is also a question as to whether a drink bottle contains enough explosive to blow a hole in an airplane. I suppose it is better to be safe than sorry, but the most these plotters are likely to have done is to scorch the lavatory.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Byrne:

I will be the first to agree than many people carry way too much baggage into an aircraft cabin.

But, there are legitimate items that should be allowed into the cabin.

For years, airlines have disclaimed liabilty for fragile, very expensive, and electronic items. Jewelry, wine from Napa and Sonoma Counties, and laptop computers have no business going into a cargo hold.

In fact, my wife's employer is quite concerned about the possiblity of no carry-on bags. Not only does the company fear broken laptops, but sensitive documents could become lost, or worse, fall into the hands of competitors.

Then there is the matter of children. I have a three-year-old son, and we don't carry a tremendous amount with us, when we fly. However, our child does need some snacks, such as Goldfish; bottled water; toys; and books to pass the time, particularly during delays. Make it impossible to bring these items into a cabin, and small children will turn the cabin into house of bleeding eardrums.

Finally, there is the issue of economics. If people are prevented from bringing items into the cabin, they might very well decide to drive. My wife is considering driving to Columbus and Cincinnati, because the new rules forbid the bringing of hand cream beyond security. During the winter, she goes through hand cream the way a Hummer H2 goes through gasoline.

The last thing the airline industry needs is people driving.

And, for every extra piece of checked baggage, that is less cargo and mail that can go into a cargo hold. Less cargo and mail means higher fares for passengers.