Have you ever encountered something so fantastically
outrageous that instead of getting angry about it, you just stand there and
laugh? I was bumped to first class one
time and having boarded early, I stowed my laptop bag under the seat in front
of me and I quickly walked to the lavatory to take a pill that I’d
forgotten. When I returned to the seat,
what I saw there really opened the “steam valve!” In first class, there are only two seats on
either side of the plane (this was a Boeing 737). The space under the seats however, is split
into three luggage compartments. There
are two tiny ones on the outer edges and one large one in the middle. The joker in the seat next to mine took my
laptop bag out from under the seat in front of us so he could put his laptop
bag there instead! I just started
laughing. I laughed so hard that he
looked up at me and made eye contact. I
asked, “What makes your bag better than mine?”
He said, “I like to put my feet in the third compartment here.” I told him, “I’ll be happy to put your bag up
here in the overhead, since mine was there first and I plan to use it…” He replied, “No, I already have two larger
bags up there.” I finally said, “Well,
here’s how it works in a civilized world, since I’m following the rules and
have only brought one small carry-on aboard, and since my bag was there first,
I’m afraid I’ll just leave yours out here in the aisle and ask a flight
attendant to stow it for you.” She was
happy to oblige.
It amazes me how people handle the space under the seat
in front of them. I’ve seen a lot of
people (mostly women), leave that space completely unused but then they’ll put
their bag in the middle of the floor and wrap the strap or handle around their
foot so they don’t forget the bag. It
may surprise you, but it’s illegal for you to do that. Besides, in the event of an emergency, do you
really want a bag entangled around your ankles when you’re scrambling to
Flight attendants are extremely touchy about the use of
that floor space, and they should be.
Did you know they, personally, can be fined by the FAA $1,100 per bag
for every single bag found that is not stowed all the way under the single seat
in front of you? You can’t keep your bag
in your lap or behind your legs, head, or anywhere else on your body. It simply must go in the overhead bin or ALL
THE WAY under the seat in front of you.
A small pet carrier is designed to fit under a standard
airplane seat, yet most pet owners choose to pull it out as soon as the plane
is in the air. While I truly empathize
with the pet, I understand why some airlines prohibit the keeping of pets in
your lap during flight. As cute as
fluffy may be, many people are severely allergic to her. Also, if she were to get loose, there are
about a million tiny cubbies and places for a small cat or dog to hide in. Be aware of your airline’s policy about pets
and carriers and be prepared to act accordingly. It’s hard to believe, but not everyone is a
dog or cat person.
My seatmate was a little wary of me for our entire
flight, after I took the initiative to move his bag for him. I think he was more surprised than
anything. He looked at me, crossly, and
all I said was, “How does that feel?” and I might have chuckled some more. Don’t stow your things under someone else’s
seat! The space they do have left for
passengers is valuable, don’t steal it!
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your
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