Yes, I’ve officially become one of THOSE travelers.
I place my bag on the scales at SFO while checking it. 72 pounds, reads the scale. oooh.
I smile politely at the counter agent and make small talk. She asks about the new pages added to my passport. We chat about the weather, about travel, about the types of planes I’ll be flying on. She looks at the weight of my bag.
“Ma’am, you’re overweight. You’re allowed 2 bags, but each can only be 50 pounds.”
I feign surprise. “Really? If I have one bag, is it allowed to be 100 pounds?”
“No, regulations state that bags can only be 50 pounds, or you have to pay extra.”
“Okay, I’ll pay the fee.”
Trying to be helpful, she asks, “Don’t you have another bag?”
“No, I just have the one. Except I do have a small backpack that’s empty that’s in my bag.”
“Why don’t you repack your things. Put the heavy items in the backpack. You only have to get rid of 20 pounds.”
“Okay, shall I go to the side here? And bring the bags back when I’m repacked?”
“Oh, no. Just do it here.”
I look behind me. There are several people waiting in line to check in. I’m one of THOSE travers, the type that holds up lines. But I do it. Put all my books and toiletries in my backpack. As I put my toiletries in, I wonder if that’s the best move. I dismiss my worries, confident that the plastic bag they are in will prevent any leakages.
And I’m off to South Africa, via London.