American Airlines Trauma — By Lydian Shipp
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American Airlines Trauma — By Lydian Shipp

Plane day was off to a good start. All our checked bags were checked, our carry on bags at our sides, and, most importantly, we had made it through the security check successfully. Even our lunch of (slightly cooked) rice with a dollop of plum sauce wasn’t all that bad.  Plus, the airline had bumped us to first class!

My dad went up to check and see if our baggage was okay, and that our tickets were acceptable, just a basic check to make sure everything was good. We had read online that there could be three carry ons maximum per person. So everything was probably fine, right? Wrong. The lady who was going to check everyone onto the plane said that we could only have two bags per person, and I already had my guitar and one other bag. So, we had to stuff our bags together.

Very proud of ourselves, we trotted on up to the counter, and happily showed the lady our bags. She said that our arrangement wouldn’t work (where there were two bags attached together to form “one”), and that we would have to check a bag. Now, our most important stuff was in these bags, and we weren’t about ready to give it up. So, we got the bags together, so that we had six bags total. All of us were a tad peeved, but we went back up to the counter, thinking that we could get on the plane. We were very confident of this. But no, we couldn’t. The lady was saying that our bags were too big for the overhead compartments! The amount of stuffing and reorganizing was almost endless as we stuffed socks and books into my guitar bag, dozens of Clif bars into our pockets, and numerous knick knacks and paddywacks into my dad’s computer bag. Just as we were beginning to feel rather lonely in our plight, a blonde haired woman in a turquoise dress got reprimanded for having a bag to big for the overhead compartments.

“Jesus Christ” She muttered under her breath, rolling her eyes, as she came over to join us. This woman, like us, got told that she could just simply check her bag, and not have any trouble! Personally, now that I think about it, this was probably some money making strategy or something. “I’ll just wear my clothes on the plane then.” She said.

“That’s a good idea…” My mom said thoughtfully while yanking and stuffing things out of and into bags.

Soon enough, we were wearing half of our bags on us and carrying more than originally necessary on our backs. We were ready to board the plane.


(NOTE: This post was written when I was 12. I edited it in 2017 for grammatical errors and other technical stuff, but maintained the content to preserve my 12-year-old perspective)

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