Photo credit: Heather Poole
Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a legacy carrier and author of the book “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” thinks flyers have always been cranky but notes a peculiar lack of decorum in recent months.
“I’ve caught passengers taking other people’s luggage out of the bin to make room for their own bags,” she says. “I’m not joking. They’ll pull out a bag, drop it on the floor and walk away leaving it in the middle of the aisle for the passengers behind them to crawl over.”
Though travelers have always stuffed monster bags into pint-sized spaces, Poole notes that the practice as well as the bizarre bad behavior has become more prevalent since the onset of $25 baggage fees, the first unbundling move.
What’s the worst passenger behavior you’ve witnessed?
I’ve caught passengers taking other people’s luggage out of the bin to make room for their own bags. I’m not joking. They’ll pull out a bag, drop it on the floor and walk away leaving it in the middle of the aisle for the passengers behind them to crawl over. Have you ever tried stepping over a 21-inch Rollaboard? Not easy. Happened three times last month!
Recently a woman tried to stow her suitcase in that, oh, what do you call that spot? Crevice? Crack? Between the overhead bin and the ceiling? There’s like a millimeter of space there! I don’t care which airline you’re traveling on, that’s not going to fit. Then there are the recliners and the anti-recliners. One anti-recliner got upset at a recliner because she couldn’t get her tray table down. I suggested if maybe she removed the gigantic fanny pack from around her waist it might go down. She looked at me like I was the crazy one! One man actually called me over because the passenger in front of him had reclined his seat. I had to point out that, uh … his seat was reclined too!
What’s the most common bad passenger behavior you’ve seen?
[photo credit: Telstar Logistics]
Oh you know you’re digging her stylish Rihanna-like bob and that vintage, greyish blue, Pan Am-like uniform. 1966 Stewardess Barbie is now available at ToysRus ($32.98)
Every Barbie flight attendant wants to work the Barbie Dreamliner Jet (AKA The Barbie Glam Vacation Jet) with Captain Cheeseball. And for less than it costs to purchase a one-way airline ticket to most US cities, this luxurious plane can be yours - and only yours (think your own row!) – for $119.99! Now on sale (online) at ToysRus for $95.99. Price includes dolls. NOT checked luggage fees.
A REAL frequent flying Barbie carries matching hardshell rolling luggage. $49.99 at ToysRus
Because every flight attendant dreams of wearing aqua marine go-go boots with a matching train conductor’s hat while zipping up and down the aisle on a scooter! Polly Pocket Adventure Stunt-n-Style Jet ($39.99) Hot pink goggles and luggage included
NOTE: This post was NOT sponsored by ToysRUs, even though it should have been. (You listening ToysRus?!)
You know your luggage rocks when the doorman outside of the Bryant Park Hotel in New York City wants to take it for a spin. No joke, when my husband stepped out of a taxi cab, the guy who greeted him grabbed the handle of his rollaboard, took a few steps towards the revolving doors, and then stopped dead in his tracks.
“Nice,” he said, rolling it back and forth over the cement as if it were a lawnmower. This from a guy who comes in contact with a lot of luggage, a lot of really nice luggage, on a daily basis. Then he spun it around in circles like a skater on ice.
My husband smiled. “It does have a nice roll.”
“May I?” asked the doorman. Before my husband could say, ”yeah, sure, go ahead,” the guy took it to the edge of the hotel property and then came right back, nodding his head in approval. ”What kind of bag is this?”
If you’re not a fan of Tiger Woods or golf in general, you’re probably thinking, Club Glove? I thought the same thing after a pilot contacted me to tell me about the line of luggage his friend had designed specifically for flight crews. Turns out Club Glove, the number one travel equipment in golf, is no longer just for golfers. It’s for flight attendants, pilots, and passengers, too. Makes sense since the CEO and owner of the company, Jeff Herold, is also a private pilot. He’s been flying since 1997 and many of his friends are commercial pilots and flight attendants.
The only bad thing I can say about Club Glove is this. It’s not crew luggage. At my airline luggage is part of our uniform. This means we can only use a certain brand, and I’ve been quite happy with my 22″ Travelpro suiter for a long time. Because of this I was hesitant to try it out, but after the pilot assured me it was the best there is out there, I decided to give it a go. Although I couldn’t use the 23″ Club Glove “carry on” bag at work, I could take with me on vacation – twice. I even allowed my husband, a frequent flier who travels over 100,000 miles a year on business, to borrow it after a wheel on his beloved, ten year-old, Samsonite popped off. Not only did The Husband come home raving about the bag, and he’s not one to be easily impressed, a client of his ordered one just like it.
What makes the bag so great? It doesn’t roll, it glides, like butter. After experiencing such a smooth roll, it wasn’t easy going back to what can now only be described as a drag. Sorry Travelpro. At 8.8 pounds (the same weight as my Travelpro), it’s light weight and easy to lift into an overhead bin. That’s important considering I spend half my life on a plane and have no desire to have back surgery. At first glance the Club Glove bag appeared to be smaller than my Travelpro, but I was able to fit just as much inside. Because it’s thinner (and taller) than my crew bag, it rolled down the aisle without knocking into any seats. Of course the height of the bag was an initial concern. It’s an inch taller than most rollaboard bags. But by stowing it with the wheels facing out, instead of wheels in first, it fit nicely into a coach overhead bin on both the Super 80 and 767 aircraft. The hard back makes the suitcase feel sturdy, but the soft front allows for squishing action if getting the bag into a tight space becomes an issue. I’m not the most organized person in the world, but the clothing organizer bags that came with the flight crew set made it easy to stay, well, organized! A first for me. My favorite thing about the bag was how well the wheel base worked in the snow. It was like a sled!
The VLK flight bag impressed me the most. I could not believe how much I could get inside what at first appeared to be a tote bag that would never in a million years work for me based on the small size! Yet I was able to fit everything I needed inside, and then some, including a full size laptop computer AND my makeup bag, as well as a couple of magazines, a book, my wallet, a bottle of water – you get the picture. This is why The Husband and I now refer to it as the magic bag. Seriously, there’s no better way to describe it.
How much do I like Club Glove luggage? So much I’m thinking about ordering the Train Reaction set (rollaboard, tote, rolling duffle) for my in-laws before their next big cruise. But only if they agree to let me borrow it first!
There are four different flight crew sets to choose from. Each includes a carry on bag (rollaboard), gear bag, flight bag (tote), two clothing organizers, and travel kit, along with a 5 year NQA (no-questions-asked) warranty for $499. Not bad for a quality, light weight, dependable product! It’s the only line of luggage still made in America.
Tiger’s ex, Elin Nordegren, pulling a Club Glove bag through LAX airport
When it comes to travel, packing multi-functional (space-saving) items are a must! The perfect bow tote might look like a purse, but it’s big enough to use as a tote. With this bag you’ll be able to pull off daytime looks with professional and chic suits, and tote it along with hot night pieces after work. Or use it as a carry-on bag next time you travel! Why not? There’s plenty of room for a netbook or ipad! The tote is simple, the leather is soft, and there are no bows, adornments or logos on the outside of the bag. And the best part; it’s feminine and flirty, but in an understated way. The Ann Taylor perfect bow tote retails for $225.