2/18/13

Overhead Bins . . .

There is that moment in just about every trip involving air flight where you think . . . "Oh, sh*t." Because you realize that, just like you, the 174 other people about to board the plane (jet) like so many sheep flew in to your destination for "just" the weekend. And, like you, they only brought the essentials so they simply have one "wheel-on" (which may be slightly larger than that weird metal frame outside every gate that no on ever uses/enforces - especially since you had to put your liquid personal items in a Ziploc bag in the front/easy access pocket and that makes your suitcase three inches thicker than it might otherwise be) and their "personal item" (a bag that is not in ANY way smaller than the aforementioned suitcase but has a different shape or is open faced, etc.) and then, of course, their jacket and some snacks and some souvenirs.

They announce the flight is full. You look around. Gulp. They announce they will check baggage plane-side OR to your final destination, gratis. No one even moves. They announce, again, the flight is full and, again, no one moves. No chance, Charlie. This bag stays with ME. From here until home.

Then you look at your boarding pass "Group 4" it states. 4? Out of how many? And how did I get a 4? I bought this ticket a long time ago and I'm a regular flier. And they announce, again, that they WILL run out of room in the bins and that they WILL need people to check their bags. You just stand there. Trying to assume the PRIME position to be the FIRST member of Group 4 on the plane. You earned it. You are special.

Veterans, service members, those with disabilities, people requiring more time. You call BS. That woman is 32. Looks to be in able health. NO ONE with her. Wearing a "I was born ready." T-shirt. Has been railing about the military for the entire two hour boarding delay. Why does she get to go on first? Group 1 is huge. MUST be 40% of the plane. Group 2 . . . another 33%.

You are screwed. You can tell. Group 3 is another 19% of the flight. You have just 4% of the population left to board (someone check that math for me). No way there is even 4% of the space in the overheads left.

Finally - you are on board. Phew. There are three bins still open. All in your part of the plane. You're going to be fine. Sure you are.

You wheel back. Cheez-It breath in tow. Then you start looking at the people trying to jam things in to these bins. WHY is that coat taking up two square feet? That purse could EASILY fit under the seat. Your lunch? Seriously? You put a Burger King bag in the overhead? That kid's backpack should be under a seat for sure. What is going ON here?

You finally get to row 29. ONE slot open. It is YOUR spot. Then someone jams in a bag. Does that satisfied hand clapping/slapping thing (as thought cleaning off dust). Slams the bin shut and starts walking toward the front of the plane.

Dubs. Tee. Eff, bruh?! Where you going? Why is your bag back here and you're going up there. He says, smugly, "Excuse me." and you ask - "You're, uh, not seated back here?" "Nah." He snarls "But this was the only spot open for my bag."

You do what any self respecting person would do. Move out of his way. And start stewing inside. Then - it hits you. You're a master of efficiency and organization. You scored very well on that test they made you take in high school that assured you a career in the military could await you. You walk back one bin. Start moving Dora backpacks and Coach purses on top of each other. EVER SO GENTLY. You stand a laptop bag up. You pull a coat out and jam it on top of a suitcase.

And BAM! There is a slot for your rollerbag. But - what is this? You can't DO THAT? Those people were here first? You can't just touch other people's stuff? WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON HERE? People DEMAND you put their bag back exactly where it was. Don't touch my coat, a woman huffs. "Sir. SIR. SIRRRRR?!" a flight attendant barks sensing some tension above the wings.

You accept defeat. You allow them to check your bag. Plane-side. You're going to spend 10 minutes on a COLD jetway waiting for your bag. For no apparent reason. You get your voucher. You walk back to row 29. Looks of disdain coming from that little pain in the butt that owns the Dora backpack. Her father oblivious as he reads his WSJ.

Then. Injured as you are . . . the insult. You're in 29A. 29B? The woman with the "I was born ready." T-shirt. Uggs up in the air. Chatting away on her phone. Happy as can be for those extra few minutes she "needed" to board.

Lesson learned, universe.