Thursday 15 Nov 2012

Funny Story: How Many People Does It Take To See If A Bag Can Be Carried On?

Flew round trip in this guy. Flight there - fine, flight back - terrifying!

I am currently in Guatemala. I’ve been here for a week to study more Spanish, enjoy the culture, and to have more adventures! So far it has been absolutely phenomenal!! I wrote a pre-trip report (CLICK HERE) about what I would be doing while I’m down here, and how I booked my flight for free on British Airways miles.

I have so much to share with all of you, but right now I wanted to tell a quick funny story from my trip this weekend.
I went to the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, and flew on a tiny tiny plane that only has 6 rows of seats, and holds 18 passengers round trip from Guatemala City to Flores (1 hour direct flight).

Flew round trip in this guy. Flight there - fine, flight back - terrifying!

The opening to the cockpit is wide open, there’s no safety talk, & no stewardess. T.I.G. – THIS IS GUATEMALA! 
Get into it, because I say that about every place I go to now! haha. A couple of weeks ago my friends in Colombia told me “Hey T.I.C. man!”  Me: “What?”  Them: “This. is. COLOMBIA!!” Me: “ohhhh, perfect!”
So on my return flight from Flores to Guatemala City, obviously the airport is tiny and everyone there is on the same flight. There was a group of white girls (gringos) in front of me. Definitely American or Canadian. We are talking about your average backpacking group of girls, but probably on their 1st or 2nd backpack ever, or maybe their “big trip” in between high school or post college. I definitely saw 2 of the 3 girls had matching day bags, haha! You know how stubborn us North American travelers are, so you know where this is going…

As you can see in the picture above, the plane is extremely small. There’s 6 rows, no overhead compartments, and not much foot room. Anything you bring on the plane is in your lap, or on your feet. Safe, I know!
These girls checked in with full size trekking backpacks, & a day bag for each, and I overheard them say that they were flying home the next morning from Guatemala City, so their trip was over. One of the girls wasn’t comfortable checking her bag, or didn’t want to pay, so she asked if she could carry it on. As usual, there was a carry-on bag size checker at the check-in counter for the flight. They said, sure try it!

She then proceeded to POUND the bag sideways into the container. Anything pressurized or solid, like a bottle of shampoo, can of hairspray, or ceramic souvenir would have instantly exploded with how she was bashing her bag!! Meanwhile it’s still sticking out of the ends of the container by almost a foot on both sides, and I’m standing behind them trying not to laugh while I take pictures of the insanity!
The funniest part was then the girl said “Si, esta bien!” (Yes, it’s all good) to the airport personnel as the bag was mangled into the container and was at least 24 inches too long! Oh boy… Being the nice Guatemalan guys that they were, I think they were going to allow it (TIG!). Then she tried to pull the bag out by pulling on it, then tugging on it, then standing on the container and pulling, all to no avail! Next comes the airport personnel, then comes one of the friends…. They could still not get the bag out!! See below for the insanity:




3 people now...


So, how many people does it take to see if an extremely over sized bag can be carried on & pull it out of the size checker?
The answer is 4!

I actually ended up having to go over there and help hold the container down while they pulled. So you have me, the girl, her friend, and the Guatemalan guy all pulling on this bag and holding onto the container. It was pretty funny & ridiculous! Before I came over to help I said “You know that this plane doesn’t have over-head bins right? That bag will be in your lap if you carry it on”… That’s when she agreed it would be silly to carry-on, but we still had to get it out!
Here’s the craziest part, to check the bag, was FREE.

Lesson learned.

What are some lessons you have learned while traveling?
Would you have tried to carry-on a huge backpack?  Scroll down & comment.

Stay tuned for more deals, special offers, and stories & reviews from this trip, my Christmas & New Years trip to Europe, & my trip to Colombia in January (Post 1. Pre-Trip Planning & Costs.  Post 2. Bungee Jumping).

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  1. Oh wow! LOL, no words for that. Glad you were able to capture the moment for us! Haha! Great story!


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  1. My Valentines Day Present – A Free Trip To Guatemala! | Travel and Credit
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