Minimalism is my new creed: Cut out all the crap, foster the paperless office, travel light. I think it’s a function of getting older, the wish to divest; but we could all do with an injection of minimalism from time to time, no more so than when travelling by air.
This morning I was sitting in a Zurich-bound flight at Athens airport waiting for final boarding. At the last moment, along came a woman carrying the most enormous roller case I have ever seen. I mean, this was like a fridge on wheels. Passengers do take liberties with hand luggage, I know, and I am constantly amazed at the portmanteaus and assorted bags some people try to squeeze on board. This, though, was the monster to end all monsters. Quite rightly, she was stopped and told the bag would have to go in the hold.
There ensued an unseemly row. The captain had to be called and was right not to budge. In the end the furious passenger announced that she would not be travelling on the flight and stormed back through the departure gate in a major huff.
We then discovered that not only had she brought the kitchen sink on board, she had the rest of the house stored in the hold. Removing this baggage delayed the flight and over two hundred passengers by nearly half an hour. This is the most selfish and unthinking action I have seen in many years, and I do travel a lot. May her portmanteau shrivel on the way back from the airport and may her luggage get lost on the next flight.
I, however, was left feeling quite smug. My dinky Tom Bihn Ristretto, containing all I really need for a two-hour flight, was snuggled in the footwell, harmless and not contravening any airline regulations.
Geotag: Somewhere over the Jungfrau.