drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Annoying Northwest Airlines Flight

So, we check our bags. Smooth. None over were 50 pounds, and my heavist was 35.

Ar the gat seating area, a woman walked around putting tickets on stuff she decided needed to be gate checked. The plane was extremely small, and, according to her, people were bringing overweight bags on board.

Some folks thought she was being a petty tyrant. A couple may have been on the edge of rude, and she did play the "I can keep you off the flight, if you prefer" card, which is pulling out a really big hammer, probably bigger than warrented. No one was cursing her out, although they thought this was crap. She emphasized that this was for everyone's safety.

I said to Josh that I hadn't seen anything in the gate area citing a weight limit, just "if your bag doesn't fit in this, we suggest you check it" bin. Josh said there were posted signs about a 40 pound carry on limit.

Hm. In that case, I don't feel at all safe on Northwest flights any more. This woman eyeballed bags. She did not heft them. More to the point, there was no scale in the gate area. No one weighed the bags.

My carry on, including the one I had to check? Defintely under 40 pounds.

One guy emptied his ticketed backpack into a plastic bag. I saw what he had, and it was far lee than the bag they let me carry on. I think he was allowed to take the plastic bag on board. It's obviously lighter than anything in a backpack. That's sarcasm.

And there was no such policy on the flight from New York, or, at least, no one trying to enforce it on backpacks.

And, on larger planes, this doesn't seem to be an issue. If it is, again -- get out a scale and weigh my bag, please.. And everyone else's.

If a larger plane truely doesn't have this issue, I want a larger plane. I am tired of the tiny planes Northwest uses for short flights. The plane that took us to and from Indianapolis is the smallest plane I have ever been on. Taller folks could not stand up in the bathroom. Heck, I felt cramped in there, and I am small. And, the door to the bathroom opens out, right into anyone waiting to use the bathroom.

If the real issue is that the luggage won't physically fit under the seat or in the overhead, let us try before making us gate check. Or have use use the "if it doesn't fit here" box, which one guy used to check the bag he'd been told must be checked. It fit.

If it really is weight, get a scale. Weigh the bags. Weigh all the bags.

I suspect some of use could have taken stuff on anyway. To some who said, "I'm sorry, but thos bag stays with me", the woman said, "I'm putting a claim ticket on anyway, in case they say it has to be gate checked."

I think "they" meant the loaders. If so, and if it is the weight issue, some of us probably could have brought stuff on by checking with the loaders. Some may have. I just gate checked my bag, as instructed.

We landed in the rain. The flight to Indianapolis, on the same kind of plane, required us to go outside to board. The plane was too small to hook up to the usual tubelike corridor. Sure enough, we walked through the rain to the airport.

I asked where to get the gate checked bags. The woman iasked pointed inside. Ah, I thought, then this will not be like a similar flight on a slightly larger plane where I had to gate check a far tinier backpack, collect it on an uncovered cart in the rain, and then discover the zipper was busted, rendering the bag useless after that trip, as replacing a zipper costs as much as replacing the bag, even if all that is missing is the thing you pull to zip and unzip the bag.

Well, this backpack had no zipper. It was damp, however, and was on the ground, just outside the entrance to the building. This was a sheltered are; the dampness came from the unloading process. Oh, no one checked my claim check against the ticket. I asked if they needed to, but the guy said no.

But, hey, when we collected the bags we checked before going through the security point, I saw that the gate checked stuff had not been treated worse than the other checked bags. All our bags were damp.

I liked the nice lady on the flight who was always willing to refill drinks and who said she had been delighted to see all of us GenCon attendees who were in costume on Sunday night. She might well have seen me walking with my mask on a stick.

But, I am not well pleased with Northwest. The gate check policy is enforced arbitrarily, and with no attempt to check for the stated safety issue. I am considering whether I want to fly that airline again.
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