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In My Opinion


Folks who don’t check their bags are carrying on over nothing

By Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.

Since when did carrying your bags onto an airplane become more convenient than checking them? The whole point of checking your bag is the convenience of bringing everything you need and then having somebody else deal with it while you go get coffee and People magazine.

Everything about carrying a bag is completely INconvenient, starting with picking the bag, as it has to be a certain size. You don’t order your entree based on the size of the plate, so why would you pack for vacation based on the size of the luggage?

And it’s vacation! You don’t know what the weather’s gonna be, or what activity you may do, or where you’ll end up eating dinner. You need options. And not sensible ones, fashionable ones. A cardigan’s fine for the crab shack, but if I end up in a place where I don’t have to dump my silverware out of a plastic sleeve, I want my nice wrap.

Carry-on people say a comfortable walking shoe and a dressy shoe will take care of all situations. I don’t think so. Which one do you play tennis in? And what if your group thinks it’d be fun to walk to the dressy restaurant, now which shoe do you wear?

And nothing’s convenient about pouring shampoo, lotion and mouthwash into tiny clear plastic bottles. And then not being able to find a Sharpie to label them, figuring I’ll just smell them to ID them later. Or having to sniff 2 ounces of hair gel, in time to walk to dinner in a sundress paired with a loafer.

Some folks don’t want to pay the 50 bucks to check the bag. How much do you think a pair of tennis shoes and a nice wrap are gonna cost you – in a resort town? Not to mention another round of hair products to replace the ones you’ve put up your nose. For that, you could have checked your entire closet and a steamer trunk.

But the biggest reason people won’t check their bag? They don’t want to wait for it when they get home. Really? You’re home. Vacation’s over. Why are you in such a hot hurry to get home, all you’re gonna do is unpack and do laundry. I’m just fine to sit in baggage, catch my breath and watch CNN. I can only hope it’s long enough to feed my kids another airport meal, which I promise you beats anything that’s been sitting in the fridge all week.

I’ll check my bag because I want the convenience of having all my stuff, plenty of choices and products in their specially marked bottles. I don’t want to decide today what I’m going to wear to dinner next Friday. And I don’t want my toiletry bag to look like a chemistry set.

And I don’t want to play tennis in Jimmy Choos – those hard courts are hell on my heels.
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