Thursday, September 2, 2010

Being Passenger cum Janitor

Fortunately, there is no airline regulation and/or charge (budget airlines, please note), yet, that makes it necessary for you to put your cabin baggage only on the rack above your seat . The absence of this regulation is particularly useful when the flight is full- or even if they are not - but have holiday makers who sneak in more cabin baggage than they are allowed. It is, of course, okay for business travellers to smuggle in extra cabin baggage - you can't, after all, expect them to be whiling away their time at the baggage carousel.

As I entered the aisle, with only one piece of Hand-Baggage - as per regulation - (the other was only a backpack) I espied that most overhead baggage racks were full - all the way to row 36.I walked-down-the-aisle (fun, not pun intended), fast enough for the guy behind me not to prod me to move faster and slow enough not to miss a potential slot for my luggage, with my strolly when my spatial instincts located a parking slot over 15C. In a trice I heaved the strolly and backpack to give it a home for the next 150 minutes. Smug with my achievement, I squeezed my way back to 10A - my allotted seat.

We landed after a comfortable flight. I have often wondered what's with Indians who scramble to retrieve their luggage the moment the flight lands. Perhaps, this is a vestigial trait - from decades of scrambling to board long distance trains only to grab the space under your berth,for your luggage, before the next man can. Or perhaps it is due to the decades of training we have had standing in long queues for everything from rice and sugar (ration queue) to cinema tickets (box office queue). These "Charles Darwin" queues will take a few decades of double digit GDP growth to be erased from our DNA.

I was not perturbed when I saw the passenger from row 15 picking up my luggage. Perhaps he was doing this only to collect this luggage before returning mine back to its slot. But, hello, that did not appear to be his intention when he took my luggage and turned around to disembark from the rear exit. I did consider the possibility of hollering across to him - " hey that not your luggage" or passing on a chain message to him through the several who were in the Darwin queue to disembark. Then, the wicked thought crossed across my mind - why not avail of the free porterage!

I was amazed that he did not realize his mistake, if it was a mistake, even after lugging the unit - which would have been of a different odour,colour, dimension, weight and scars from his own luggage - across the aisle to the entrance of the coach.

At the entrance of the coach, I struck!

Me: Excuse me, are you Bharat Ram?
He : No.
Me : Well, I am Bharat Ram at it is his luggage that you are carrying!

With this I took the luggage and boarded the coach while he, in a mild state of panic, rushed back to the aircraft to retrieve his luggage - if it was still there.

Indigo airlines co-opts "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls" to "prepare the cabin" for the next flight. If, like this time, someone could lug my 15 kilograms luggage from the cabin-to- the-coach I will, more willingly, be the airline's passenger cum Janitor.

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Novelty Pens said...

Yes... and the bags fly free.