October 12 2011

Travel Impressions

We went on vacation last week–Jamaica. I’ll be posting some pictures later when I’ve got them off the various cameras and organized. In the meantime, I thought I would say a couple of words about air travel in general.
On this trip, we made all our connections and our luggage arrived on time, so that was good. On this trip we had to (for various reasons) take two suitcases of the checked variety. This freed us to only take a small carry-on each (camera, i-pad and 1 change of clothing just in case.) Since the checked in luggage wasn’t lost this worked well. We both noticed that there was quite a bit of freedom in not pulling along a carry-on.
I did notice that many people seem to be desperately trying to cram as much as possible into larger and larger carry-ons. This strategy fails(of course) once the carry-on gets too large to fit into the overhead compartment. The airlines main check of the size of the carry-ons seemed to be the failure to fit rule rather than any pre-screening. This leads to everyone waiting while the people desperately try to fold their luggage into a space that is too small. Maybe they needed more topology classes. I would guess that the carry-on size increase comes from the airlines now charging for check-in bags. So, rather than sensibly packing less, people are trying to pack the same (or more?) into less space.
The one place in which having checked luggage was annoying came on the return flight. When we arrived in Atlanta (from Jamaica) we had to clear customs. This means that you have to retrieve your checked bag, wheel it 50 feet and then put it back on a conveyer. Then, you have to go through security again. I’m fairly unclear on what security hole this arcane exercise is trying to fill. I did get to go through one of the full body scanners. It reported that my right leg was suspect. The pat down dud then patted my leg and confirmed there was nothing there (other than a leg). So that was kind of interesting.
The other mildly annoying thing was having to turn off my Nook at the start and end of each flight. Someone, somewhere has a great fear of all electronic devices and the vast energies they emit.
More on the actual trip later.

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Posted October 12, 2011 by user in category "Trip

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