A little while back I took a flight to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. This flight was a few hours long & the airline was using a smaller, narrow-body aircraft for the trip. The flight was quite full & pretty much every passenger boarded with multiple pieces of cabin baggage/hand luggage with many being very heavy. While the cabin crew did their best to make space for all the items, there wasn’t space for everything & plenty of bags needed to be offloaded. This caused the flight to be delayed.
This business of bringing heavy bags or large bags is something I see frequently & it is something I don’t quite understand. Perhaps a better explanation of my confusion is people bringing these items onto the aircraft & then demanding help from the cabin crew since the bags are too heavy for them to lift or the same people getting upset because their bags don’t fit into the storage areas.
Almost all airlines have weight & size restrictions for carry-on bags for very good reasons. If an item is too big to be packed away, it will move around during normal occurrences like take-off, landing & turbulence. Further, in the event of an emergency, the item would pose an obstruction in an evacuation. With regards to the weight, carry-on bags are stored in overhead compartments & these have weight limits themselves. If these compartments are too heavy, they will inadvertently open & things will most likely fall out. Do you really want excessively heavy bags falling on your head?
While you can say it is the airline’s fault for allowing passengers to board with such heavy items, I do believe the lion share of the blame is on the passenger for trying to get away with just a few more kilograms in their backpack. Interesting fact, did you know that chronic back pain & spinal injuries are some of the most common injuries cabin crew experience as a direct result of lifting & moving heavy carry-on bags?
Anyway, let’s get back to the story. So my flight was delayed for about an hour because of this baggage issue.
Eventually, we took off & I tried to get some sleep in. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but the sleep was my usual airplane on/off type of sleep. At some point, I vaguely noticed the lady sitting in front of me was scratching around her seat. I assumed she dropped her cellphone or something so I didn’t pay much attention & dozed off again. The next minute, my heart almost stopped when that same lady grabbed my leg at my calf muscle & lifted up with quite the force. All those unreasonable nightmares you have as a child of being dragged out of your bed by your feet? Yeah, that is what first went through my mind. She quickly let go of my leg & I caught my breath & started laughing loud because, well, that’s my response to everything. I know the experience was startling for me, but imagine how much of a fright the lady must have gotten when whatever she thought she was picking up started moving.
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Keep traveling, keep safe.