Rewarding Bad Behavior by ProQuest


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									Cool as McCumber

                      Rewarding Bad
                                                                                               “I am sorry, sir,” she replied, “but all
                                                                                            the overhead bins are full.”
                                                                                               “As I was coming aboard, I saw you
                                                                                            check a man’s large bag that wouldn’t

                                                                                            even fit in the overhead,” I said. “You
                                                                                            kindly told him you would check it to his
                                                                                            destination, and you didn’t even charge
                                                                                            him for the service. Why am I being pun-
                                                                                            ished when I played by the rules and even
                                                        By John McCumber                    paid extra for checking my bags up at the
                                                                                            counter? Should I have dragged my two

        must really like abuse. In order to put                                             bags and this briefcase down to the plane
        food on my family table, I need to travel                                           and made you personally check them and
        frequently, and that usually means air                                              provide a receipt free of charge?”
        travel. Recently, air travel has meant frig-
                                                                                               Before she could respond, several pas-
        id weather and numerous delays for snow
                                                                                            sengers within earshot began to applaud.
and ice. Those issues don’t normally bother me.
                                                                                            She tried once or twice to reply, but each
I simply put on my noise-reducing headphones,
                                                                                            time the applause would crescendo as she
open my book, and let others worry for me.
                                                                                            was trying to talk. Finally, she grabbed my
However, there is one really annoying facet of air
                                                                                            briefcase, gave me look that still makes
travel that bites me on nearly every connection.
   Airlines have started charging onerous “bag-                                             me shudder, and said she would find a
gage fees” to boost revenues as well as help                                                place for it. I thanked her.
reduce the workload on the ramp. On aircraft                                                   There is little I feel empowered
other than small regional jets, gate agents no                                              to change as an airline passenger. My
longer enforce baggage restrictions regard-                                                 employer dictates the airlines and routes
                                                                                            I can use, so I am in no position to fight
ing the size or number of carry-ons allowed.              “Before [the flight               back with my wallet. However, I have tried
Passengers are now free to lug on nearly any-
thing they can drag or cart on their person.               attendant] could                 to point out
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