Who reading this has ridden in an airplane? Who reading this has ever checked baggage with an airline? Who reading this has ever stressed out endlessly over the safety of the fragile items in said checked baggage until you were able to confirm there was no damage (hopefully)? If you answered yes to any of those questions (hopefully in your head or you might look a little crazy speaking to a computer) then you understand the brutal epidemic that is occurring right now when it comes to transporting luggage from one place to the next.
How hard is it to be just a little more careful when handling my bags? There’s no need to treat it like someone you’re angry with (an ex per se) and throw it away. For one, I’m paying extra money to bring this bag so you should be extra gentle with it. If it was free, I might be a little more understanding. Also, can we talk about general respect for people’s property. Like my uncle says ‘Don’t be afraid to treat it like your own’. Ah, the sound of wisdom.
Not to call out any specific airline, but recently I was traveling and had a checked bag so I took it to the counter. I smiled, tried to be friendly and polite with the airline representative through small talk, then gave her my bag. I wish this next part was a joke, but sadly, for the glass items in said luggage, it is not. She took my bag, lifted it onto the luggage belt (wheels down, so it was standing up), took two steps back, drew in a deep breath, moved forward and pushed (with all her strength plus the added weight of her momentum…remember the back-up) my luggage down. The sound of my 35 pound luggage crashing from its perch, ~2 feet tall, all the way down onto that belt turned my stomach. A lot of things shock me, but that took the cake. I just stood there with my mouth open until she looked past me and said ‘Next’ (with a smug smile on her face too).
Seems to me, from the playback above, that I did nothing to provoke that assault on my possessions. Needless to say, my glass souvenirs from the foreign country I was returning from did not fare so well. Was it the push? Was it a bumpy plane ride? Was it the throw from the cargo bay belt onto the cart by the baggage personnel on the tarmac? Hard to say, but I can still see that poor suitcase falling, falling, falling, unnecessarily might I add, to the unforgiving belt and bouncing a bit from the impact.
Why is the whole process of handling bags so cruel? I think for starters, they should start referring to it as bag caring instead of bag handling. You handle something that’s about to blow up in your face. You care for something that has been entrusted to you so it’s returned in the same condition you received it in. Would it be more difficult to set bags on the cart instead of tossing them in? I’m thinking it might actually be easier and less of a workout. Would it be more difficult to set luggage flat on the belt? Also, I’m thinking the answer is an easy no here. Would it be more difficult for luggage companies to make shock absorbent suitcases that prevent injuries to innocent, delicate items from certain impacts? Alright, this is probably more difficult, but someone should look into it. I would do it, but I’m a little busy voicing my concern over the safety of suitcases everywhere.
As a quick recap:
- Airlines pushed down my luggage
- Items were hurt in the crossfire
- I, The Restless Professional, felt massive sadness and shock…in public
- I, The Restless Professional, care about getting this changed for the greater good of everyone
- Don’t treat my luggage like your ex – love it like a puppy, or a child, or your car, or your phone, or whatever it is you love
- If you love nothing, please consult a professional, that doesn’t sound normal
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you too have experienced this, don’t tell me – I’ve been there, no need to waste time comparing victim stories. Go straight to the source. Thanks for reading!
Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.