Posted May 22, 2008 by Nicki Krawczyk
Well, with the recent news that American Airlines will now begin charging a $15 fee for all checked luggage as of June 15, those of us who can’t fit two days’ (much less two weeks’) worth of clothing in a backpack have some hard choices to make.
Or do we? To help ease the financial burden in an already tenuous economy, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions (some helpful, some less so) to deal with this new luggage fee.
1.) Wear all of it. That’s right: all four sweaters, three shirts, two pairs of jeans and two pairs of khakis. You’ll be warm and rather bulky, but since other people don’t seem to care about encroaching on your seat space, you can pay that back in full.
2.) Adopt a Zen sensibility. As the “Personal Packing Crisis” was first explored on this very blog, it’s fitting that I will now offer a solution. Align your chi, say a few om's and become very comfortable with the fact that you will not look attractive or even presentable on your stay. Repeat to yourself this mantra: “I’m okay with only one change of clothing and no mousse all week long. I’m professional and put together on the inside.”
3.) Save up. And I’m not talking about giving up your need-it-to-get-through-the-day double lattes, either. I’ve devised a very simple plan to make it easily affordable to check as much luggage as you like. Those pennies you see on the ground and usually pass by? Pick ‘em up. For each item of luggage you’d like to check, picking up just one penny every day will pay off the fee in a mere 4.1 years.
4.) Get serious about good packing. Okay, it’s time to get tough: no more “just in case” outfits or “I might get cold” sweaters. If the answer to the question, “Do I really need this?” is anything less than, “Not having it will severely limit my ability to do absolutely anything,” consider leaving it at home. Strongly consider leaving it at home. $15 fee consider leaving it at home.
5.) Wear none of it. Instead, ship it. Depending on your immediate need for clothing and personal care items, any of your friends at UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS, or Ed’s House of Shipping could get it to your destination at a comparable rate—and when’s the last time you heard someone say “FedEx lost my luggage”?
Of course, there are bound to be times when none of this information will be of help and you’ll be stuck paying the fee. In that unfortunate case, my best advice is … to get used to it. The way things are going, it seems like it might not be all that long before this kind of fee is standard on airlines and not one of us even bats an eye. After all, remember when airplane food was free?
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