June 15, 2007

Gearing up for the next leg of the summer's adventures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. USA - The days here are longer than in Mexico. We were up at 6 a.m. (SIX a.m.) and evenings wear on quite late too, thanks to more daylight hours.

But that doesn't mean anything more gets done.

My lengthy list of todo items got longer yesterday as the next deadline (Monday at 8 p.m.) looms for us to pick up a US Airways flight from Sacramento to New York.

Ahhhh. US Airways.

Over the years, I have flown US Airways and America West many, many times. I used to joke about being stuck flying the worst and next-to-worst airlines.

Then they merged. And, as the saying goes, sometimes the sum is greater than the parts. I won't bother to talk about their ticketing policies, Soviet-like fare structure, or baggage handling system.

What prompts this early morning mini-rant was our flight from Phoenix to Sacramento, the last leg of the trip returning from Puerto Vallarta. The Admiral and I approached the plane with our carryon luggage. I steered a small rollerbag with my computer bag atop it so that only one shoulder was in pain; the Admiral carried my guitar and her violin - and her small shoulder purse. Usually I tot my computer bag and guitar.

As we approached, the eyebrows shot up on the flight attendant and a gate agent. Oh no... You have too many carryon bags, mam the gate agent said... (And the Admiral just loves it when a 20-year-old with a bad haircut calls her mam...)

Suffice it to say, we have traveled - on US Airways - with the same entourage of luggage at least a half dozen times in the last year with nary a peep. But the flight attendant and gate agent on this plane (who were looking each passenger over more carefully than the TSA agents had) were adamant. One of the 'five' items would be checked.

The small roller bag, once emptied of the laptop computer it carried and a couple of other items you wouldn't want the luggage monkeys to break, went into the hold. And it survived the bouncing around with the other cargo and was disgorged from the baggage belt in Sacramento.

But Jaysus!

So for the next trip, we are going to be sure to have the requisite two carryons per person, though I am toying with the idea of carrying a set of nesting bags on, taking them apart in flight.

We could get on the plane with two carryons each - and get off with four each.

This has possibilities.

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