In a few days, it will be time for me to pack my overnight bag and head for upstate NY. I have family up there, my BFF has family up there, so we make a long weekend of it and visit my mom and her dad. The trip also encompasses siblings, in-laws, outlaws, stepsibs, half-sibs, cousins, nieces and possibly nephews.
Hey, we squeeze a LOT into these weekends.
Since I haven’t engaged in air travel for quite some time, I thought I’d better go online and reacquaint myself with the rules and regs. I don’t actually want to be frisked or cause an international incident if I can help it.
Checked bags now cost $25. Am I going to need to bring a folding chair to sit in next? Because looking at that fee and looking at the price of my ticket, I can’t see where the passenger, also known as the paying customer, gains anything. Because I’m shoving my undies, extra socks and sweat shirts into a carry-on bag, shouldn’t I get a discount for not taking up that expensive real estate down in the cargo hold?
Another thing. The rules say I can have one carry-on bag, one personal item (a purse, in my case), and there are several other items that are “free.” Canes. Coats and hats. Umbrellas (limit one per person). Food and drink to be consumed on board. And, I quote, “Reading material (a reasonable amount).”
As a writer and an avid reader, I suspect my definition of reasonable doesn’t overlap with the airline’s definition of reasonable. Is there anything worse than being stuck on a plane without a book? Since I’ve recently moved into the current century, I’ll be taking my Nook on the plane. Already my to-read list on the thing is overflowing.
But what else, specifically, am I allowed to take on board the plane? I think I’ve got a handle on the whole liquid situation. Three ounces or less of any liquid, all containers in a clear, quart-size Ziploc bag. Got it. How many little bottles of liquor can you fit in one of those, does anyone know?
Seriously, I was reading about what isn’t allowed in your carry-on luggage. Ice axes. Really? Was there ever a time when ice axes, meat cleavers and swords were welcomed in the cramped confines of an airplane’s cabin? Was that back when we called the flight attendants “stewardesses?”
Bows and arrows, baseball or cricket bats, spear guns. Your Robin Hood fantasies will have to wait until after you’ve landed. Did we really need to be told not to bring our spear guns? Also a nix on any manner of gun, plus gun powder and flares. Because that’s not common sense?
The biggest disappointment was to learn that I can’t take a cattle prod on board with me. Think how handy one of those suckers would be. Of course, I think a cattle prod would be pretty darn useful pretty much every damn day. Especially in grocery stores.
Martial arts weapons of all sorts are forbidden, which is really too bad. I think some sad, delusional person whipping out a pair of nunchucks and proceeding to beat the hell out of himself would be fine in-flight entertainment. Made better only if he got poked with a cattle prod at the end.
I wasn’t planning on packing any blasting caps, liquid bleach, lighter fluid, pool chemicals, vehicle airbags, tear gas or kerosene. But if somebody is going to be mad because they couldn’t pack one of those items, you just know they’ll wind up sitting next to me.
The only thing on the list that surprised me was gel insoles. The thin, flexible pads you put in your shoes because you aren’t young anymore and your feet hurt. Ix-nay on the inserts-ay. And snow globes. No snow globes, not even with documentation. I’ve never seen said documentation, so I don’t know what it would consist of.
See? It’s an interesting trip already, and I haven’t even begun to pack yet.