Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bad Manners at the Airport

A picture of  me is probably on someone's list of "People We Hate At Airports." Why? Because I was that heinous person repacking my suitcases at the check-in counter. Yes, I did that. My apologies to everyone behind me. Mea culpa. Luckily, American Airlines doesn't seem to be all that popular at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, so the number of people I inconvenienced is in the single digits.

How did I reach this low point in my travel etiquette? I took advantage of our visit to America and stocked up on items hard-to-find in Malaysia. 

More Suitcases than Kids

In all, we had 8 checked luggages — 2 small, 1 medium, and 5 large. I struggled to close the 2 small ones. They were bursting at the seams. The rest were at the 50-pound limit set by the airlines. Well, except for the last one I packed. I had to sit on it to zip it up, and I paid no heed to how much it weighed. No way was I leaving behind any purchases.

At check-in, the counter rep informed me that the last luggage weighed in at 59 pounds — 6 pounds over the 53-pound limit. Wait a minute?! The website stated 50 pounds max, but I guess they grant you an extra 3 pounds. If only I had known that at home. Not wanting to be that person (you know, the idiot at check-in), I asked about the fee for excess weight. $100. Ouch. Looking like an idiot seemed a better option.

So, that's how I ended up with 3 suitcases open on the airport floor redistributing the weight — pulling 6 pounds out of one bag and splitting it between the other two. I briefly considered wearing multiple layers of clothing but figured my parental authority wasn't strong enough to convince my kids to do it, too. Don't you think I earned these lovely HEAVY luggage tags?

What  was so important that I couldn't leave it behind? Here's a small sample:

  • Texas Chili Spice Kit - Now, all I need to find is a good source for ground chuck beef.
  • Godiva Hot Chocolate mix - For my special ice cream recipe; I've found this in Kuala Lumpur but never in Penang
  • Marshmallow Fluff - I have missed you, marshmallow fluff.
  • Benadryl  - You're welcome, Heather. I brought some back for me, too.
  • Claritin Melt-in-Your Mouth RediTabs - Much better than cutting in half the teeny, tiny adult tablets the Malaysian pediatrician gave me for my daughter, grinding the half up, and mixing it in water so she can swallow it.
  • American Girl Doll clothes, magazines and books - Not surprisingly, these are hard to find overseas.
  • Boy Scouts of America Merit Badges - Stocking up for the troop
  • 30 Cub Scout Pinewood Derby kits - Enough for the whole pack
  • 6-person tent and ground tarp - Because the scouts' current tents leak, and it inevitably rains during every camping trip
  • 2 sizes of close-toed water sandals for each child - One pair of KEEN sandals for now, and one to grow into. 

It's amazing that I don't mind looking like a fool just to take the stuff my family can't live without.


  1. Thanks for the Benadryl! If I see your picture posted on annoying people at airports, I'll let you know. However, I completely understand.

  2. Hahah! I've done that before :) The stocking up back home in Germany as well as the repackaging at the airport. After that I bought a travel scale. I "upgraded" to a digital one recently, but went back to my digital one. It doesn't require a battery, so it's one less thing to worry about for items you really don't use all that often. And it's so small and lightweight that I bring it on trips, so I know how far I can push it with the shopping :) Maybe it's time you splurged on one too :) Enjoy all the purchases!


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