I was recently on a business trip to Las Vegas. I usually travel with large, heavy television equipment. (Can’t make TV without a camera and some lights, and they are heavy.) And it’s the same goddamn thing every goddamn time at baggage check.
Baggage person: “These are too heavy, there’s a 50 pound limit.”
Me: “I know”, I said over the screams of my herniated skycap, “That ones 64, that ones 68 and that ones 75. How much do I owe you?”
“And sir, you can only check two bags.”
“I know, I got three extra, how much?”
At this point there is an indescribably slow, non-urgent, reason-defying, completely pointless meeting between three “supervisors” discussing what to do about the “situation”. This strange Airline Union Worker ritual happens every time and I’ve learned that the best thing to do, is absolutely nothing. I let the ritual play itself out, not wanting to disrupt this primitive rite I am not privy to understand. After much huddling and pointing, they stare at me as if I should cry, yell, apologize, plead or sacrifice a goat to remedy the situation. I do nothing. Not even a facial reaction for them to react to. Any slight scowl, eye roll, or misinterpreted smile and its good-bye PG movie with a tiny scotch bottle, hello cavity search.
They act as if no one has EVER brought an overweight item on a plane. I have personally sat NEXT TO many an overweight item. I have personally checked dozens of them. There are piles of pink HEAVY tags behind the counter for God’s sake. Still, the bewildered stares. A future union leader is placing each package on the scale and announcing the weights.
“This one’s 68 pounds,” says the lackey. It is at this point a “supervisor” scolds him for placing an elongated hard case horizontally on the scale, so that a few inches of the case hang off the edges of the scale. “You have to put it upright son, or it will weigh less.” The lackey looks at her, then me, then her, then me, then her, then me. I shrug. He complies, and stands the case on its end and announces, “68 pounds,” to which Archemides mumbles, “Goddamn thing’s broken,” and kicks the scale.
After each subsequent weight announcement, the fantastic four continue to look at me as if I have just evacuated my bowels on the luggage scale. I stare back and say nothing. I’m paying $350 for a seat rank with bathroom fumes outfitted with a crotch jabbing table tray, no food and nasty service, what’s a few hundred more so I can do my job upon arrival?
After one final ten minute stare down, one moron taps some buttons, announces with a frightened half-smirk- “It’s going to be $200,” then apparently notices for the first time the credit card I placed on the counter under her nose when I arrived 20 minutes ago. She charges it up, I say thank you and head to the boarding area, where I pay some college kid ten bucks to carry on my illegal second carry-on.
Same thing every time, they tell you there is NO WAY you are getting on the plane and a short time later, you and your overweight bags are in the air. And all you have to do to make it happen, is nothing.