Bag Check

by Marinka on January 7, 2010

Over Christmas break, I took my two kids to North Carolina to see my inlaws, while Husbandrinka stayed in NYC with his older son.  Because my stepson had some kind of flu and we thought that he shouldn’t be flying and contaminating everyone.    I had a lot to do in order to get ready, because getting fitted for a halo took a lot longer than I’d expected.

The glitch came right away when Husbandrinka tried to cancel his and his son’s flight.   Apparently, there was a $300 re-booking fee, because Continental has been waiting for this opportunity to “fleece” him.
“What, are you a sheep?” I asked.
Note for future reference: When Husbandrinka feels that he is being economically sodomized, he does not have the best sense of humor.

And the outrage didn’t end there.

See, because Husbandrinka flies so frequently, he is some kind of Continental elite member.   Which means that he gets all sorts of privileges, like access to the President’s Club before boarding and sitting on the pilot’s lap and also free bag check.  Since we’d now be traveling without Husbandrinka, we would have to pay $15 per bag.  This was too much.

“What kind of a scam is this?” He asked the poor soul on the other end of the line.  Dear Lord, please do not let me ever work in customer service.
I have no idea what the poor soul told him, but I know what Husbandrinka told me when he got off the phone.

“You should gate check your bags.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked him.  I fly infrequently and am not familiar with these aerodynamic terms.
“It costs $15 per bag, the three of you have three bags, so just bring them to the gate and then when they’ll tell you that they’re too big to bring on the plane, just gate check them.”

There was very little that I liked about this idea, although the list of the things that I hated was plentiful.
First, it seemed like some form of acting was involved.  Would I pretend to try to board the plane with my bodybag of a carry-on?  And when they’d tell me that I couldn’t bring it on, do I have to put up a good fight?  Like insist that it will fit under my seat and hint that they’re picking on me because I am wearing a huge Star of David around my neck (note to self: get a Star of David necklace).

Second, if I’m traveling with two kids, Husbandrinka will be lucky if I don’t check the kids, let alone our luggage.

But, whatever.  If there’s one thing that I know about marriage it’s that it’s not worth arguing over these little things when you can just lie about them later.  Like what. Is he going to audit my credit card statement for the $15 charge?
Except I started thinking.  We’re trying to save money.  So I made an executive decision.

We get to the airport, bid farewell to Husbandrinka and head to check in.
“Listen,” I tell offspring, “I’m going to check my bag, and you hold on to yours, okay?”

My son is fine with this plan, mostly because he’s not listening to a word I’m saying, but my daughter declares this to be Unfair.

“I want to check my bag, too,” she says.

“Well, people in hell want ice water,” I tell her. I’ve used this expression before and no one ever understands what it means, but it sometimes confuses them into submission.  It doesn’t work with my daughter, however, because she has stopped listening to me.

But the TSA saved me. Because when quizzed about whether I was carrying liquids, I had to sadly confessed that I had gallons, so they took my bag.  Sadly for my daughter, her luggage was dehydrated, so she could gate check it.  But she learned a lesson.

“I’m traveling with shampoo and body wash from now on,” she told me.  Lesson learned, young lass.  Lesson learned.

One year ago ...

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (qtberryhead) January 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Checking the kids is insanely expensive…totally worth it on a really long flight though. Checking them keeps me from feeling guilty about the amounts of adult beverages I drink on the plane.
I really hate those parents who get wasted on the plane and let their kids run amok.


Casey January 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Smart girl. I love (and hate) the politics of flying. I would have lost my mind dragging bags along with my kids through the airport. Glad you survived!


Maddnessofme January 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Ok so I know that free bag check and sitting in the pilot’s lap are real things, but what is this President’ Club?

My husband travels frequently too and I want to make sure no strippers are involved.


Ann's Rants January 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm

“The TSA saved me”

I like how you worked that in.


Paula January 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I will ONLY gate check my bags since the time I went one place and my bags went someplace else. Now I want to SEE them put my bag on the plane I am in. On. Whatev.


January 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Where did you go to get your Halo fitted? I made my husband breakfast this morning and was wondering who does custom fittings.


Mary @ Holy Mackerel
January 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I’ve never heard of gate checking. Is this a new phenomenon, or only privy to extreme travellers like Husbandrinka?

I also have not heard of checking one’s children, which would have been great to know a month ago when we went to Florida. What might have even been better is if they got lost somewhere in transit for, say, a week or so…


jessica January 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I”m now at a point where if Jet Blue doesn’t fly there, I don’t think it’s really worth going


the mama bird diaries
January 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

This reminds me of my husband who always wants me to use his train pass that has a big “M” on it for male. I’m too much of a nervous nelly for that kind of stress. So I tell him I use it and really, I just pay $15 bucks for a train ticket.


Masala Chica
January 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm

LOL. It’s hard when you have airline status and then just become like everybody else. Sorry if that sounds bad – but I was a United 1K member and could cut lines, get special service, lots of attention – but last year i was on bedrest for a good portion of it with my pregnancy and stopped traveling.

So now, I’m just. . . . normal.

Which is going to be a big travel adjustment for me. Smart kids by the way. and i think you are right – people in hell would want a cold beverage.


anna see January 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

glad husbandrinka didn’t get you banned from continental.


redgirl January 8, 2010 at 12:38 am

Waaaait…so what exactly IS “gate checking”?


Gretchen January 8, 2010 at 12:52 am

I want to know where you got your halo fitted. I travel to New York to visit my in-laws every summer with my kid and and without my husband, and I’ve been trying to get my halo properly installed too.


Mo January 8, 2010 at 4:05 am

Given the fact that I had always assumed you were permanently haloed I am surprised you had to get one fitted…did the last one fail its service?

I’m with Husbandrinka I’m afraid. When one is being unwillingly sodomised, economically or otherwise, one is allowed to be grouchy.


Petra aka The Wise (Young) Mommy January 8, 2010 at 9:30 am

This whole paying for bags thing is ridiculous. I could understand paying to check our kids, but the bags don’t eat, whine or we their pants. Sheesh!


Madge January 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm

if only we could check our kids instead of the luggage. now THAT i would pay $15 for


January 9, 2010 at 12:44 am

Gate checking is Spanish for Flyer Stealing. I lost a $1500. check that way. They saw it in the x-ray machine and then presto chango, it was suddenly too big to put on the plane. Fuckers.


Kate Coveny Hood
January 9, 2010 at 10:50 am

This was hilarious. And “sitting on the pilot’s lap” made me laugh out loud!


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