So here I am in rainy, stormy Florida, sitting on the floor of Ft. Lauderdale/ Hollywood International Airport next to a power outlet so my computer stays charged waiting for Amy to arrive from Chicago. In front of me are a random conglomeration of travelers, a nice cross-section slice of America if you will, toting their luggage to the self check-in terminals. Many of them, heading on vacation, perhaps, bring with them some of the most enormous suitcases I have ever seen. My niece can fold herself into my 22-inch rollaboard, which is really cute, but I could probably fit myself and a weekend of clothes into some of the suitcases.
I also hate to stereotype, but many of these mega-cases are pulled by 1. large people (explanable, since their clothes are probably large), 2. ladies with spiky heels on, and 3. old people.
My theory behind the old people is that they probably go on extended vacations, thereby requiring half their belongings to go with them, particularly if they like to winter in Florida. My theory about the spiky-heeled ladies is that they just like to look good all the time so they change clothes as often as the characters in the Sex in the City movie did. That would require several suitcases.
Jon was spending two weeks in Barcelona back in the fall of 2007, so we flew together from Paris-Beauvais on Ryanair for a euro penny plus taxes. The catch: your luggage could weigh no more than 10 kilos and each extra kilo of luggage would cost 8 euros. So, before Jon was trained in packing correctly, he had gone over the 10-kilo limit by about 8 kilos, or 64 euros, or almost $100. The check-in lady let us step aside, and we unloaded Jon’s suitcase in the middle of the airport and started tossing items onto the luggage check-in scale: sweater, 1/2 kilo. Shoes, 1.5 kilos. Leather coat, 2 kilos. Four t-shirts, 1 kilo. I stuffed one of his MCAT books and a few t-shirts into my suitcase and carry-on, and Jon tied one jacket around his waist, put a shirt and sweater on, changed into the heavier shoes, wore his leather coat, and we went back to the check-in lady with Jon donning an entirely new outfit. He was over by 1 kilo, but I think we amused her enough with our creativity that she waived the extra kilo fee.