Luggage: Carry-on vs Check

I just got back from Dallas tonight (Rebekah is helping out the Art Institute there and I tagged along) and it was my first time flying since the whole liquid explosive scare. Up until we actually got to the check-in area I had the delusion that I would just carry on my suitcase. Turns out, they’re pretty serious about allowing no more than 3 oz of liquids (shampoo, contact solution, hair gel, etc.). So, we both ended up checking our bags.

I had forgotten just how nice it is to be suitcase-free. For one, it takes less effort to walk around, go to the bathroom, and eat food. More importantly though, I no longer felt the need to board the plane as soon as possible for fear of a completely full overhead compartment. The additional bonus is that because fewer people bring their bags onto the plane, boarding and unboarding is a lot quicker. Maybe I got lucky, but I retrieved my suitcase after both flights within 5 to 10 minutes of arriving.

I think the point I’m making is that even though the liquid explosive thing seems to be a bit out of hand, the effect is positive. Air travelers were getting too comfortable with carry-on luggage, when that’s not really how the system is designed.

On a side note, I’m thinking about a follow-up to my office lunchroom etiquette post: Airplane etiquette. Here are a few questions/thoughts that are bouncing around in my head:

  1. If the guy next to you orders a bloody mary mix, and you want one too, should you say “I’ll have a bloody mary mix please,” or “I’ll take the same thing?” (or should you pick something different just to avoid the situation) I asked for the same thing today, and I felt like that meant the two of us were friends or something. I was afraid he was going to want to start up a conversation.
  2. If you’re in the middle seat, and you want to peak out the window to see what’s going on, how close can you get? You’re legs are already touching, is it a big deal to move a few inches closer?
  3. Do you have to turn your head to make eye contact when talking or can you simply stare straight ahead?
  4. Is it ok to make a comment to people sitting in the row ahead, or row behind, if you’ve been eavesdropping?
  5. First class is stupid. I have to think more about this one. Not sure if I’m just jealous or if there is more to it.


  1. no, first class is nice, you’re just jealous 🙂

    - ben (Oct 4, 2006)

  2. Avoiding the silliness of the liquid bomb scare, I will say that there is one definite negative to checking baggage. Upon arrival at your destination, you may not get your suitcase because somehow it ended up in Guatemala (assuming you’re not in Guatemala). Plus even if it does show up, you have to sit and wait for it. In addition, how easy is it to steal someone else’s stuff? In regards to #3, you should only feel inclined to look at the attractive passengers.

    - Russ (Oct 5, 2006)

  3. Russ, I hear you, there is definitely a chance your luggage will get lost, however I don’t think that happens as often as it used to. If my last flight is any indication, they’re also getting your luggage to the baggage claim quicker, it only took 5-10 minutes of waiting on either end. If I were to guess, I would say that you save about the same amount of time boarding/unboarding the plane because less people have carry-ons. As for your comment on #3, that’s a given, why do you think so many people look at and talk to me?

    - rett (Oct 5, 2006)

  4. Funny, Rett. Ironically, this morning on the ‘news’, they did a story about a woman who lost her luggage and had to buy all new things when she reached her destination. The point of the story was to say that they have a new service whereby for a little bit more money, you can ship your luggage on an ealier flight right after you check it. I suppose that gives you a better guarantee it’ll be there when you arrive. As far as your #5, I decree that there be no more rich people and poor people…wait let me think about that one a bit more.

    - Russ (Oct 6, 2006)

  5. rett…
    remember when my suitcase was lost somewhere en route to stillwater…got returned two days later…and had like massive holes in it still smelling of burnt rubber? yes, well the airline replaced the baggage to try and make nice but said they wouldn’t do anything about my half melted clothing because they’re not responsible for items INSIDE a suitcase. curious. when an airline manages to rip the exterior of your suitcase away…and the “innards” are exposed…does that justification really fly? (and yes i’m enjoying my word selection in that last question…”fly”… hardy har har)

    p.s.>>my stuff gets lost often. even these days. i’m bitter-er about that than all the richies.

    p.p.s.>> think about poor sad baby brother SANS PIGGY when we were wee ones in texas

    - caroline (Oct 15, 2006)

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