new york, new york
In keeping with my need to control all aspects of my life, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I will avoid checking in my luggage at all costs.
It is because of this that I have become an expert at rolling a week’s worth of clothes so they fit in a carry-on. It is because of this that almost every picture of me on vacation shows me in black and gray (they are the easiest colors to coordinate). It is because of this that I’ve mastered the art of sneaking my own items into Ali and Maya’s luggage.
(And since I have to pack both of their bags I don’t feel guilty about this.)
In any case, going carry-on only for a 5 day trip to NYC, as we did last week, is a piece of cake. But I made one fatal mistake on the return flight: I packed Maya’s coat in her pink polka dot carry-on so she wouldn’t have to coordinate carrying it on board separately.
Virgin America Agent:You’ll have to check the pink bag.
Me: But we brought the same bag from LAX to JFK with no problem. It’ll fit in the overhead compartment, I promise.
Virgin America Agent: Bring it here so I can ticket it.
Me: The reason it looks slightly large is because it’s bright pink. Plus I packed a coat in it. I’ll just take the coat out.
Virgin America Agent: It’s too late for that. We need to check it.
Me: It’s too late to take a coat out? That doesn’t make any sense.
Ali: I’m not sure you understand but 5 days ago we brought this exact bag from LAX to JFK and it fit with no problem.
Virgin America Agent: Well this is JFK. And I said it needs to be checked.
Ali: But it’s the same plane and the same piece of luggage. How does the city we’re departing from make any difference?
Me: This is absurd.
Ali: I’d like to talk to the manager.
Ultimately the reasonable manager let us take a few things out so the bag appeared flatter, and then he let us board with the bag. Once we were on board we repacked the same items, and of course the bag fit in the overhead compartment with no problem. Just as it did on the way in to NYC.
So really, I’m not sure what the entire exercise accomplished? Except that someone at JFK felt authoritative for 5 minutes. And that our fellow passengers probably still hate us for causing a spectacle. And that despite a good few years, it seems that Virgin America is well on its way to joining the ranks of all the other crappy domestic airlines…