In the past week, our airports have forced travelers to make a big change in how they travel by air. For the time being, commercial airline passengers are not longer able to carry on items that are liquid or gels.
As a result, many people at the airport have been (reportedly) trashing their traveling supplies of lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, shaving cream, etc. (rather than pack them in luggage that gets checked in and handled by the airline).
This week I have heard many conversations from “road warriors” about how this has affected their travel. Most of them continue to carry on all their luggage, refusing to check anything into the hands of the airline personnel. I’ve heard comments like:
“I’ve never checked my luggage and I never will.”
“It’s just too much hassle.”
“At the end of a long day of travel I sure don’t want to take th extra time to pickup my luggage at the baggage claim area.”
So, instead of checking a bag that contains the essentials mentioned above, they’ll travel without them and then stop at a CVS or Walgreen’s (or where ever) to resupply themselves at their destination.
I was shocked to hear this talk.
This summer I’ve been a road warrior, traveling at least 50% of the time. So, I know what it’s like living out of a suitcase and dealing with the hassles of air travel.
But I still couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Sure it may take some time to check your bags before your flight and then pick them up after. But I’ve found it doesn’t add much more than 10-20 minutes to my time. Most airlines have made it easy to check your bags quickly through self-service and with the help of Skycaps.
And, at the destination airport, you usually have to wait for a ride or to rent your car anyway. I find I can rent my car and then go get my luggage so I’ve wasted no time waiting for my luggage. It’s there waiting for me when I get there.
When I reach my destination city, the LAST thing I want to do is drive around looking for a store so I can buy toothpaste, shampoo, etc. At that point, all I’m thinking about is a hot shower, a tasty meal and a comfortable bed for a good night’s sleep.
And, to be perfectly blunt, if everyone checked their luggage, we’d all get on and off the planes faster. Typically it’s the people who are carrying on everything they can who slow down the process of getting on and off the planes. Without that mess we’d all save at least 10-20 minutes.
So, maybe I’m a contrarian here. Because it seems I’m doing things differently than a lot of road warriors.
Or maybe I’m just lucky enough to have a fresh perspective. I don’t have years of habit compelling me to do things in a certain way. It’s easy for me to look at the situation objectively and say, “here’s what works for me” without the “baggage” of old habits that may be steering me wrong.