Travelling on a plane full of Michelin men
I WAS at the airport. At the departure gate the airline staff made an announcement, several times loudly, that no bag or combination of stuff, was to be more than seven kilos or there would be an instant $60 fine. They got their machine out and were weighing every item of carry on baggage that people had. They meant business.
It caused quite the kerfuffle. Anybody who was busted with a bag that went over seven kilos was sentto see if they could wear anything that would reduce their weight. A flurry of passengers were rapidly donning layer upon layer of clothing. Two coats, five T-shirts, 3 jumpers and two hats went on. Like Michelin men they waddled into line. Sadly you can only ever wear one pair of shoes but is the resourceful traveller daunted by this? They are not! I watched a woman drag an apron out her bag and shove a pair of shoes into the front pocket. Cunning, I thought. Perhaps we should all start wearing aprons when we travel. Those pockets are very handy. One chap glugged down a giant bottle of water.
It puzzled me slightly, after all the weight hasn't changed. It's just been redistributed. I was feeling smug until my bag was weighed. I was kilo over! Off to the naughty corner I went and on went a cardigan, top and jacket. I cleverly held my book on the side.
One poor fool started an argument with the weight machine. That can't be right! she exclaimed crossly.
What about all the fat people she added, have you weighed them! But you know you can never win an argument with a machine and you are mad to start an argument at an airport. You will always lose. Its infuriating but it's a fact.
The airport people hold all the cards. Have these travellers not watched Border Patrol, that hugely enjoyable program where people deny having food in their bags and then are utterly astonished to find their suitcases are chock full of plant and food material! My mum packed it! they cry. The more they argue the worse their situation becomes.
Of course this has started because of the rampant abuse of carry on.
I have seen some doozies with people and their carry on. My personal best is when I saw someone take a giant stuffed giraffe and panda onto a plane. That took some nerve. I was impressed. And what about those huge blue, red and white striped bags bulging with goodness knows what. Well folks, the airline is striking back!
In the end though, it's best not to carry on about your carry on. Suck it up!
Follow the rules and you will smoothly navigate the labyrinthine systems that come with air travel. Whatever you do don't get in a fight.
Once that starts, everything slows down to a glacial pace, more important players get involved and it can get very bloody difficult. It might be entertaining to watch but it must be horrible to endure.
Chastened, slightly annoyed but holding my tongue I joined the red faced Michelin folk and we shuffled onto the plane.
I thought I could hear a communal prayer - let's just get out of here as quickly as we can.