Unfortunately, I do not have the video evidence to share the bin reel fun on American Airlines during yesterday’s flight from Chicago to San Francisco. I didn’t turn on my camera to videotape the five minute overhead bin reloading scene until the last 17 seconds of the departure delay.
Perhaps I should buy a new videocamera and hit the airways and airwaves in 2012 with my new blog “Bin Reel Fun Flying“.
We are the 99% of Flyers
I felt this week like I am truly one of the 99% of infrequent flyers who suffer in steerage while the 1% enjoy the great benefits of modern travel as members of the frequently flying elite.
This year has been my lowest flight miles since 1996. I have flown over one million butt-in-seat miles in the past 15 years, yet this year I have flown less than 10,000 miles. I have traveled more miles in 2011 in my car.
Arriving early to the airport used to mean making your flight, but now it seems the real AAdvantage of boarding earlier means avoiding the fight – for bin space.
American Airlines self-serve kiosk check in showed me I was currently in Boarding Group 2. There was an upsell offer on the screen to pay $9 and enter the ranks of Boarding Group 1.
“Be among the first to board during general boarding and have earlier access to overhead bin space.”
I passed on joining the ranks of Boarding Group 1.
I checked my roller suitcase and my computer bag easily fit under the seat on my outbound flight to Chicago. My outbound flight last Sunday was the first time where I had a broken seat tray. There was some inconvenience in not having a tray for a 4.5 hour flight. Accommodating seatmates allowed me to occupy some of their tray space. We flying citizens of the 99% have to stick together and help each other out.
Over, Under, Sideways, Down
Another first time experience for this million mile butt-in-seat flyer occurred after the American Airlines plane was fully loaded, and I mean fully loaded with no empty seats on the 737. The flight attendant came through the aisle just before takeoff and there were three bins stuffed with luggage that she was incapable of latching the bin doors. She gave a few bags a nudge and the bins still did not latch. She then made an announcement to the passengers that the flight would not take off until all the overhead bins were latched.
And ended the passenger announcement with the warning she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) move passengers’ bags!
A few volunteers in the aisle seats unfastened their seatbelts and for the next five minutes I watched puzzle challenge competition as suitcases were pushed, prodded, pulled out into the aisle, rearranged and reversed in at least three bins around my seat. This was an audience participation challenge with suggestions from still seatbelted viewers in the middle and window seats as to what the best arrangement of suitcases might be for the troublesome overhead bin latches.
The scene would have made an entertaining YouTube video, but I only filmed the last 17 seconds and it isn’t particularly interesting without the preceding five minutes of American Airlines bin reel fun.
Anyone looking for a travel blog niche should consider a “Bin Reel” video channel. These checked bag fees have certainly created more opportunity for overhead bin drama; primarily in the portion of the plane occupied by the 99%.
Most of us 99% are just trying to reduce the cost of airline travel by freely occupying the shared overhead bin space around us. Of course, there is little profit in that kind of consumer attitude.