Friday, August 25, 2006

Carry-On Luggage? Who Needs It?

Come to think of it, flying without any kind of hand baggage might just be a pleasure.

All those exasperated passengers who finally left London with what little they were allowed to carry on board in a clear-plastic baggy, made me think about flying and how it used to be and might be again.
Nothing to do but read, watch the movie, slip the earphones on and listen a bit with eyes closed, maybe even take a nap. No laptop or iPod, particularly no Blackberry or cell-phone. More particularly, no one else’s iPod or cell-phone.
I'm more than willing to make that trade.
Cellphoneman As every shred of waking time gets filled with obligation of one kind or another, maybe we need someone to call time-out. May as well be the airlines, they can't become any less popular by becoming our kindergarten teachers in the air.
Space itself has become less congenial, as those hurrying from place to place shout into cell-phones or, creepier yet, wander down the street like mental cases, talking (apparently) to themselves through the magic of Blue-Tooth. I’ve seen them walk out into traffic, occasionally in front of my car, lost in their own closed-off world of text-messaging.
Carryonmax It gets worse of course in confined spaces and what can possibly be more confined than a plane? Who hasn't had to put up with 'back-pack man,' crushing an expedition worth of worldly goods into the overhead? Not talking about business or first-class, those havens of the privileged, but back behind the curtain where most of us hunker down.
So, now that we’ve been reduced to taking off our shoes and the indignity of various wand-searches (arms outstretched like snow-angels), along with unconscionable early-arrival requirements for the most mundane flights—why not permanently take it a step further and enjoy ourselves?
A little obligatory down-time is in order.
Everything goes in checked-luggage, including winter coats and gadgetry. Pocket-change, wallet, passport and (maybe) prescription medicine in the clear plastic baggy. Shorter and more pleasant check-ins will become the norm. And those important-types we've all flown with, who just have to have something additional that isn’t allowed, will soon learn after missing a flight or two.
Y’all have a nice flight.

Some other folks thoughts on flying today;

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