Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Bag-O-Rama Boogie

In response to my last couple posts, astute TravelingLaugh reader Linda Toft emailed details of her recent Bag-O-Rama experience. I laughed, I groaned, I felt her pain and determination to meet the rules while maintaining her senses. I have her permission to share her email. She, too, is married to a George.


George and I flew to Austin TX last week for a conference. We flew Delta out of the Cincinnati Airport on our way to a conference in Austin TX. As we started for our security check gate, the line was FOREVER! We crawled along with the group and were stopped by a guy with a radio at the top of the escalator. He said a few words into it and finally let about 10 of us proceed down the escalator. We were greeted by his radio buddy at the bottom. But we had to stop again when we came to another long line winding through the maze of roping leading to the security check.

I found it so funny that the airport had to dispatch two employees to guard and control the traffic on the escalator, but I could see how it was necessary: how else do you control a moving escalator with creeping lines of people? I couldn’t believe how angry travelers were as I watched the guy stop them at the top--especially the privileged Fast Pass people who were used to sidestepping the lines at security! If I were that top guard, I would have been tempted to send them on down and watch the pile grow.

I didn’t have a carry-on bag when we arrived at the airport--at least until George found he was going to have to pay $25 for our third bag. I did some fast repacking and turned one of them into a carry on. At least until we boarded and they told me it was too big and I had to check it plane side…at no additional fee?! Makes sense to me. Or does it?!

On the way back, we decided to take the bag as a carry on, again planning to check it plane side. We got to check in and our other two bags were set on the scale, only to find one was way over weight (the junk from the conference we just had to have!). The clerk said it would be an $80 charge for the over-weight bag! $25 to check a third bag…

I’m no dummy. Once again I did some repacking right there at the desk, and the third bag turned back into a checked bag! Creative math is needed now for flying.

After all of this, I am wondering if we might someday have to “pay to pee.” Remember Pay Toilets? I can see it now! It could happen! We empty our pockets of change, pack away what we don’t need to go through security . . . and we’ll find we need a quarter to go to the potty on the plane. A new venue for the Random Acts of Kindness Folks: passing out quarters to desperate looking folks on planes!

Thank you, Linda Toft, for sharing your drama. Like you also said in your email to me, these are the days we're learning to travel lighter! Let me just add that they are also NOT the days to lose our lighter sides!


Anonymous said...

Charlene, you crack me up, and I aboslutely LOVE your humor and fun outlook on life! No amount of money could buy laughter, which is truly one of the best medicines for the heart and soul. Thank you for the priceless laughing medication!

Katie Joy, your laughing reader

Charlene Ann Baumbich said...

Katie Joy,
Thank you for this lovely encouragement. You have no idea how you've brightened my day. Sometimes we feel like we're talking to ourselves out here. Not that that isn't entertaining, but . . . .

Anonymous said...

By the way, I have been saving your latest book to read for a time when I could afford time to read (I can't put down your books, so once I start, watch out! I will be up in the wee morning hours finishing the book!). I finally treated myself and have just finished reading "If Not Now, When?" and absolutely loved it! I stopped for 5 minute breaks here and there (not by choice), but otherwise, it was a sit-n-devour reading. :-) You are very gifted. I am saddened that the series isn't continuing. I have a bazillion questions that need Charlene-only's answers and have asked my husband if I can spare a few grand to support book seven, but he just gave me "the look." So, I bid Dearest Dorothy goodbye for now...until I miss her so much that I re-read the six books. :-) Thank you for sharing your God given talents.

Katie Joy

Charlene Ann Baumbich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlene Ann Baumbich said...

Wow! THANK YOU! And thank you to Penguin Books for continuing to sell the six-book series, even though we felt like we had to leave the square a little early. (

But stay tuned: Random House will release the first book in my new series (yet untitled) fall of '09. Plus, my first nonfiction title in seven years releases June'09. "Don't Miss Your Life!" (Simon and Schuster)

And thus endeth my commercial.