We ALL come with baggage. No, this is not a post about exploring how our past traumas affect our current relationships (you don't get that kind of stuff from me for free!) This is about the utter impossibility of taking a vacation without luggage of some sort. How to best pack that luggage to meet the whims of the airline industry is, indeed, a riddle wrapped in dirty socks.
Flying out of the U.S. to Italy, we were allowed 1 checked bag and 2 carry-ons. Of course, the checked bag had to be under the weight limit of the airline (not specified anywhere unless you ask and until you're actually in line to check your bag.) If your bag is overweight, they charge you an extra $200! REALLY?!! $200?!! The entire contents of my bag aren't worth that much!
After making sure the bags are all in order, are not obese, are not containing anything illegal or unacceptable, we present them to the airline clerk who labels them and then tells us to take them. Huh? There's a conveyor belt right behind her! Why not put our bags on it like they always do? OH NO! Not any more! We have to drag our bags out of the line, around the corner, and present them to the baggage people ourselves. Why don't we load them on the plane too? Maybe then they'd actually get to our destination?
For the trip home from Italy, we know the drill, though, or so we think. We carefully pack everything in 1 checked bag a piece and 2 carry-ons. Nope! The airline in Italy allows 2 checked bags and 1 carry-on! Repack everything AGAIN!
Now I hear that Spirit Airlines has a new policy where they are going to charge passengers to use the overheard compartment to store their carry-on luggage.
The CEO of the airline has the audacity to claim that having luggage on vacation was not "essential" to travel and that by "bundling" services, such as charging for luggage and, say, sustenance, they are actually helping "the poor" to fly. Have you stopped laughing? (or crying?) How about this as an advertising pitch for Spirit: "We'd just lose your luggage anyway, so with Spirit, don't bring any! We save you the stress of filling out lost baggage forms!"
Did I mention that I hate airline travel?