Thursday, August 12, 2010

Airplane Baggage Gripe, Rant

Steven Slater, the JetBlue airplane attendant who recently had a dramatic "fit" at the end of a flight puts the blame in the wrong place.  I've never flown JetBlue, but I do fly at least once a year.  Some of the baggage rules do rankle and make no sense.

Now that it's the norm for American airlines to charge for checked baggage, it's no surprise that people will try to sneak more and more on the plane.  One airline had a sign saying that you couldn't bring anything on the plane which you can't lift to the overhead compartment yourself.  Nu?  Does that mean that all of us under a certain height can't bring any carry-ons onto the plane?  And if we have medical issues forbidding us to lift bags into the overhead compartment, does that, too, forbid us the convenience?

I generally ask for help, since I can't safely store my bag.  I also can't take it down.  I've always understood that the height requirements for cabin attendants is to guarantee that the staff can easily deal with the overhead compartments.  There's no requirement like that for passengers.

I don't understand how the "offending passenger" brought an "over-sized bag" in the plane when most airlines "catch" over-sized carry-ons before boarding.  If a passenger refuses to allow the bag to be checked, then security should be called in.

For years I've traveled with an assortment of pouches strapped to me holding documents, tickets, money, camera etc.  EL AL never counted them as "bags."  On my recent trip from Israel to Arizona, USA, on British Airways the first stewardess insisted that my pouch (fanny pack) had to be put in the overhead, since it was a back which could fly around the cabin in a storm.  It was as attached to my body as my skirt was; the demand made no sense to me at all.  It had my most valuable things; I stuffed it in my backpack which was in the overhead compartment.  I dream of a flight jacket or vest with lots of large pockets for all the valuables.  My son wore slacks with pockets large enough for all our passports, tickets etc.  That's the way to fly.

Slater would never survive working in ELAL, since the norm among Israelis is to stand up and start taking down the bags before the plane has fully braked.  Everyone's in a rush.


Keli Ata said...

I've never been on a plane in my entire life so I'd probably just go along with whatever I'm told.

But it seems this steward crossed the line.

Batya said...

He sure did and should never have a job serving the public ever again. I've worked in a number of jobs like that, and you must learn to control yourself, no matter how ridiculous and obnoxious people are. It's hard, and I'm not the best at it.

Keli Ata said...

I'm with you on this one.

Besides, in my type of work, reporting on crimes, losing my cool could get me hurt. Not to mention it's unprofessional.

Sammy Finkelman said...

BM> I don't understand how the "offending passenger" brought an "over-sized bag" in the plane when most airlines "catch" over-sized carry-ons before boarding. If a passenger refuses to allow the bag to be checked, then security should be called in.

You are right not to understand it. It's being reported that are the story Steven Slater told abouyt a conflicty with a passenger and getting injured by a bag that fell on him is a lie. they have not been able to find any witnesses who confirm it, and theer are some who say he already had the bruise when he came to work that day. And he may have been drunk.

Batya said...

Keli, Sammy, thanks for the input. Sammy, your update makes sense. The fact that he opened the emergency shute makes him seem very dangerous.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The second incident with the passenger may have happened (when she wanted to get up early) but not the fiorst (attemoting to stow a second bag and luggage falling and hitting him on the head.

Batya said...

Witnesses say he was bleeding at the beginning of the flight. The guy sounds like a major problem, a dangerous one.