10 things I miss about not flying this weekend…

1. Being reminded by a gate agent that United can get fined $30,000 for each bag over the carry-on limit that gets onboard the plane, and that we better damn “valet check” our bags to our final destination, even if we’re bound for Mongolia, because somehow this plane in particular has extremely limited overhead bin space (no matter what plane it is)

2. (Yes, for the record, it’s entirely coincidental that this is picture “number 2”)

3. Being reminded that my flight is completely-totally-absolutely-full-at-capacity-to-the-brim-and-every-last-seat-will-be-taken

4. Observing premium passengers that seem to think they’re fighting for space on the last helicopter out of Saigon

5. Reading the exciting content in United’s Hemispheres Magazine

6. My usual Saturday morning “blue glove” full body massage

7. The precision with which some of the most professional men and women in the industry serve

8. Jeff’s ever so slightly awkward hand movements in the safety video

8a. During Jeff’s safety demo introduction, wondering why he mentions “clean air transportation” before “safe and reliable air transportation.”

9. One of the agents at the Chicago Red Carpet Club that bears a striking resemblance to Carol Beer.


10. Waiting in line to enter an airline club as if it’s a Disney World ride…

Filed Under: Mileage Runs
  1. #4 is the funniest and to me the least understandable. Why do people sit/stand on the red carpet 30 minutes before boarding? Gimme a break.

    What was #2 supposed to be? UDD gaurantees they’ll never put much effort into making domestic First or Biz have any class. They should just call it frequent flyer class.

  2. Thank you for #4. These morons who are in first class or have priority boarding status who line up as though they’re worried they won’t get a seat on the plane drives me nuts. I always, always want to ask them what is going through their minds. When I’m in F, I make a conscious effort to not be anywhere near the door until the GA calls first class boarding. Actually, the whole gate-crowding thing is absolutely crazy. Sit the hell down and stay sitting until your boarding zone is actually called. There is absolutely no reason to do otherwise.

  3. @Will and Andrew — I like to be the first to board. That certainly doesn’t make me a moron. Granted, I do not line up at the red carpet 30 minutes before boarding. Instead, I try to arrive at the gate 3 to 5 minutes before boarding. I don’t always get on first, but usually in the first half of F.

  4. @Andrew it’s amazing isn’t it.. your seat is confirmed, your basically the first group to board the whole plane….why oh why do you insist on lining up on the Red Carpet a full half-hour before boarding??? I’ve seen people on the Red Carpet ask other passengers , as though they were GA’s, if they were First Class or ‘eligible to be standing on the Red Carpet’… seriousssllly..

    As for number 7: yes I know a lot of UA loyalists (I’m one myself) but bitch about the lack of perks and seat pitch on LH, they would never let that sort of thing happen

  5. The “gate lice” issue is for a battle of overhead space – if the airlines would enforce the 2 item rule, it would not be such an issue. But how many times do we see people lugging much more and stuffing them into the overheads and then when I board, I am out of luck and forced to place my items in economy. Then when we land, its like a salmon going upstream to retrieve.

  6. @Mike


    I don’t line up on the red carpet before boarding starts, but if I’ve got a rollerboard with me, I’ll try to be one of the first on-board. Try getting your rollerboard from E+, when you have a 25 minute connection šŸ˜‰

    @Lucky, what about the stack of skykits?!?! šŸ˜Ž

  7. Are we sure that #4 is gate lice pax, and not just those looking for a place to sit down and a wall to lean up against?

    That RCC line is crazy, never seen one like that

    @Tracy – please tell us which far-superior airline you patronize

  8. @Gene–no, you’re not a moron, I apologize for the poor word choice. If you’re there a handful of minutes before boarding, that’s totally expected–you’re in first, you should have the right to board the plane first.

    What I don’t understand, as others have stated, are those who line up so early, with really no reason to do so. I am preferred on US, and they don’t have an equivalent to the red carpet, so there will literally be passengers in First who are lined up in front of the door so early that they block the path of passengers getting of the arriving aircraft. It’s unbelievable.

    If I’m sitting down and get up to board when first is called, the worst case scenario is that a few Zone 1 non first class passengers have boarded in front of me–the horror! There is still plenty of bin space in F, and no harm is done. I just don’t get it–everyone will get on the plane, everyone will get to their destination, and unless you’re the last boarding zone, you’ll have bin space.

    Also agree with @Mike Nash above, consistency in enforcing carry-ons and boarding order would certainly help.

  9. That’s a pretty funny list!!

    Is #2 an omelette?

    I think this confirms it though with #8 – Jeff is a Disney animatron!

  10. The only time I would line up at red carpet is when I fly Explus F to fight for the limited overhead space for six F passengers. There is only enough room for 4 20-inch rollers and limited space for computer bags. Hope that’s ok with people on this board.

  11. Great post, lucky!

    #4 is ridiculous, but the scene would be very different 30 minutes before boarding a two-class 777 SFO-ORD on a Monday morning. Even with A320s, the number of GS and 1K on many hub-hub flights can be quite high. It’s understandable that pax would line up to secure overhead space.

  12. That looks like the C Terminal RCC at ORD, amirite?

    #4 made me LOL.

    Although now I’m all jumpy since I haven’t ever experienced the “not able to gate check my bag and pick it up after my specific flight” thing before.

  13. I do not miss any of the flying I used to do on the teeny tiny (but bigger than the car you can rent at Hertz) Embraers in & out of Dulles…..

    Great post & inspiration to post about my love/hate relationship with IAD and United Express in general.

  14. I saw a scene worse than #4 in SFO not too long ago when the flight earlier to ORD was cancelled. I was originally 8th in line for F and once that flight was cancelled I was moved to 74th on the list. There was a lot of pushing and yelling as the number of 1K/GS stuck in the back of the bus was large and they expected the world to part for them.

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