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I was hired to shoot a wedding in Denver over the Memorial Day weekend. It was nice. Being there was fun. Traveling there was not.

When photography started to take off as a business for me, I elected to keep my equipment in a Pelican 1510 case, designed specifically to fit in the overhead compartments of commercial airliners. I figured that I would probably want to travel with my equipment at some point in the future. And I have this funny thing about not leaving thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment in the hands of complete strangers who toss baggage around like competitors in a midget throwing competition.

Since I was going to Denver to photograph a wedding, I needed to get my equipment there. I’ve got two cases now. So, according to the plan, Aimee and I would each carry one on to the plane to ensure the safety of their contents. Frontier had different plans.

While boarding the plane in both El Paso and Denver, the airline representatives at the gate tried to check the cases. Without telling us what they were doing. They have these guys who just walk up and stick tags on your luggage. Without saying a word. Kind of like bag-checking, tag-applying ninjas. Except without any of the covert ninja skills. So, both times, these guys walk up and stick tags on the cases. In El Paso, I had to ask what they were doing with the tags.

The representative said that the cases were too big to be carried on and that they would have to be checked. Obviously, this was not true. The cases would fit. So I demanded that we be allowed to carry them on. And we were. They didn’t put up much of a fight. That is, after I popped out the pilot’s eyeballs using only telepathy and the representative’s novelty pen.

The thing that really made me angry was the fact that nobody asks you if they can check your luggage. Nobody says, “Excuse me, sir, but your case looks to be to big for our overhead storage and we think we’ll have to check it. Is that alright?” Not even a simple, “Listen, stupid, you can’t fit a set of golf clubs underneath the seat in front of you. It just ain’t happening.” They just tag your bag and take it from you.

All I’m really saying is that you should give people a little warning about what you’re doing to their property. Do that and maybe you won’t have angry customers popping out pilots’ eyeballs and stealing the flight attendants' shoes when they're not looking from the bathroom.

4 Responses to “service”

  1. # Anonymous bekah

    Normally they don't take your luggage to be checked unless you put it on the little metal thing next to the ticket counter... you didn't do that, though, right? Please tell me you didn't do that and then pop out an eyeball, when in reality they were just doing their job?  

  2. # Anonymous r.fuel

    No, I checked my luggage at the ticket counter. They tried to take my equipment from me at the gate. I was standing in line to get on the plane and they just walked up and started tagging the cases.  

  3. # Anonymous bekah

    I think that calls for you to freak out and scream, "SOMEONE ELSE IS TRYING TO HANDLE MY LUGGAGE! SOMEONE ELSE IS TRYING TO HANDLE MY LUGGAGE!" I'm sure that would've stopped them from trying to take your equipment, and you might've gotten a free rectal exam out of it.  

  4. # Anonymous r.fuel


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