I’m at O’Hare, en route from Boston to Orange County for DIDW, where I’ll be speaking on Wednesday. Beautiful day in Chicago, just like it was in Boston when I left at dawn. In the plane now with one of those rare bulkhead seats that give you lots of legroom and room to store a carry-on under the seat in front of you. The only bummer is the windows, which are not ideal for shooting. I actually have three of them, but they’re all pitted and blistered.

Interesting to observe an unintended consequence for airlines now charging for checked luggage: everybody is carrying on board the largest possible bags. This slows things down and screws the people last on board. That was me out of boston. My carry-on bag was taken from me and checked as luggage. Hope it gets there. I kept my back pack, though.

The lesson: get as close to the front of the boarding line as you can.

See ya on the far coast.


  1. Cash Gators’s avatar

    How they do the luggage as of lately is pretty ridiculous.

  2. Ben Hamilton’s avatar

    I’ve taken a different approach, rather than try to be first in line, I deliberately wait until everyone else has boarded, that is, be the very last in the line, with carry on luggage only.

    This works for me because I deliberately work to get a seat in the rear row, it means I get to walk out on the tarmac, walk up the stairs at the rear of the plan, get straight into my seat.

    YMMV, but it works well for me here in Australia.

  3. Neil Gorman’s avatar

    I have not tried this, so I can’t say for sure if it works…

    Someone told me that a “travel hack”. If you NEED to check luggage, and you want to make it less likely that the airline will lose your bag do the following.

    1. Travel with a starter pistol.
    2. When you check your bag tell the airline that there is a starter pistol in the bag.

    I guess that a starter pistol is considered a weapon, and the LAST thing that an airline wants to do is lose a bag with a weapon in it. Thus they treat bags that have weapons in them differently (as more of a priority) than the regular non-weapon carrying bags.

    I can say that I have seen airport personal putting some bags aside and putting a tag on them that says WEAPON on it, so I’m guessing there is something to this.


  4. justcorbly’s avatar

    Yeah, the last time I flew was about a month ago, on a small regional aircraft. I saw the same scenario. Making matters worse, passengers with obviously oversized bags were allowed to take them onboard, where they shuffled back and forth in the aisle looking for the nonexistent bin that could accommodate their bag. Eventually, several bags were gate checked, delaying the flight.

    I’ve noticed that passengers are increasingly prone to shuffle the bags of other passengers from one bin to another to make room for their stuff. This means at he end of the flight those other passengers have to go searching around looking for their bags, which means we are all all stuck in the aisle waiting to deplane that much longer.

    Also, I often check the posted carryon capabilities of the aircraft I’ll be on, at the airline’s site. I’ve learned they aren’t to be trusted. A number of regional planes have bins that really can’t handle more than a fat briefcase.

  5. CSA’s avatar

    Yikes — I can’t believe the hack about carrying a starter pistol in your bag would work all of the time. How many times would an over-zealous screener pull you aside and screw up your travel? 10% of the time? 50% of the time? Even if starter pistols are not truly banned or regulated items, I’m not willing to chance screwing up my travel. Getting through screening is tough enough as it is.

  6. jane’s avatar

    Airlines are really starting to get ridiculous when it comes to ‘extra’ fees, from luggage as you mentioned to meals, even water! They will be charging to use the bathroom next!

Comments are now closed.