Stop Carrying On


Date sent: Sat, 24 Aug 1996
Subject: Carry on and on and on and on .....
In August 1992, I took my very first flight to England, which was also the first time I had flown EVER, and I had bought two items on my mother's insistence: A small carryon bag and wheels. The wheels came in very handy after the trip, at University of Maine, when I wanted to take my laundry to the dormitory's laundry room. And the bag itself had proven itself on a couple of road trips.

Then I packed for England .... the bag that had seemed big for 2-day trips bulged with a week's worth of clothes. And on the first leg of my trip, a turboprop to Newark, I had to gate check it! I was to go entirely carryon to avoid checking things, but I checked it at the gate!

I got aboard my Gatwick-bound 747, and had the worst time maneuvering it through the coach aisle. And when I FINALLY got to my seat, being a total neophyte, I couldn't figure out where to store it! But someone pointed out an overhead compartment with enough room. Getting into Gatwick, the jetway didn't work, so I had to lug the stupid thing down the steps off the plane and back up the steps into Gatwick. You could say I stood out.

On the return flight, on a DC-10, the bag and wheels got gate-checked. Once aboard, I found another man had mistakenly taken my seat -- he was a row ahead. Then he struck up a conversation with me. He had been on my flight over, and remembered me because of the trouble I'd had with my bag! How odd.

Odder still, I never learned the guy's name, and I haven't seen or heard from him since.

And I haven't gone all-carryon on my subsequent flights to England, either!


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