New Flying Rules Are Actually a Godsend

Rather than ruining flying, the new no-liquids-on-board rule is a godsend.

Think about the two most annoying experiences about flying today: The long wait to get your carry-on baggage searched and the longer wait while obese fliers clog the cabin aisle while struggling with their equally obese carry-on bags.

Carry-on baggage in hands of inexperienced or self-absorbed passengers is a curse. How many times have you been stuck behind someone trying to squeeze, pound and implant their over-stuff suitcase into the overhead bin? How long does it take you to get off the plane while some fool—always at the front of the cabin ahead of you and scores of other passengers—struggles to extricate the same suitcase from the bin’s confines?

While outwardly the rest of us patiently cool our heels, I’d love to know how many are secretly wishing that the offending passengers themselves would get stuffed into the bins.

What is it with these people? Their precious things can’t be out of their sight for even an hour or two? Their conceit that their time is so much more important than ours that they can’t wait for checked luggage?

It will do no good to point out any of this to the Me-Firsters, whose conviction that others must be inconvenienced for their convenience is set in stone. Only the full force of the federal security apparatus will end this assault on their fellow passengers.

And that may have come with the rule that you have to either leave your hand lotion, toothpaste, hair gel and other essentials behind or check it with the rest of your luggage. And that you will have to suffer the indignity of coming aboard empty-handed, without even a latte.

That leaves only underwear to put in your carry-on. So, those who abhor checking their luggage will have to face the ultimate decision: Do they go without their lotions and gels, or do they have to buy a whole new inventory at their destination. Arrgh, decisions, decisions.

If we’re lucky, it’ll mean less carrying and more checking. Perhaps smaller or fewer carry-ons. Which will mean getting through security screening quicker and getting on and off the plane faster, with less frustration. Think of it as the terrorists’ gift to frequent flyers.

Even the most dedicated hand-held fanatic will discover new freedom, as I did one day when I decided to no longer be a part of their pack. I walked on with only what I needed for the flight—a single book. No juggling bags, boarding passes and reading materials. Just sit down, open the book and start reading, while about you everyone else is puffing, sweating and cursing like stevedores.

Sit back, relax and think, “Ah, this is how flying was meant to be.”