The one extremely rare time I actually checked a bag
I’m currently in New Orleans for a work conference. Ah… the smell. One of the most distinctive smelling places in the world. Not a good smell, but there it is.
I find myself in a very rare situation on this trip: I brought a checked bag. Yeah, I’m not happy about it either, but this is one of the only times in my life where it made more sense to bring this big bag than my usual backpack. Hear me out.
Reason 1 – I need a suit for this conference. I tried cramming a suit in my Patagonia backpack in the past. Didn’t work out so well for the suit. However, instead of checking a bag, I could have easily fit my suit and all my other luggage in a smaller carry-on size roller bag. But I didn’t because:
Reason 2 – Several weeks ago my original flight got cancelled, and the replacement flight that Delta put me on only had a 45 minute connection time. At the Atlanta airport. A huge, sprawled out place. Even if everything is running like clockwork in Atlanta, 45 minutes does not leave a whole lot of time to waste when you have to traverse the entire airport to get to your next flight. The local airport that I originally flew out of is tiny and so are the planes that depart from there. Carry-on roller bags will not fit in the overhead compartment, so they are checked at plane-side and then placed with all the other regularly checked luggage under the plane. If you’ve ever checked a carry-on bag plane-side, you are well aware that the process of retrieving your bag after the flight can sometimes take quite a bit of time. In my situation, even an extra 5-10 minutes waiting around for my bag could have resulted in a missed connecting flight. Keep in mind that this conference that I’m at is attended by thousands of people from all over the world, so the next available flight with an open seat may not have been easy to find. No good. It made more sense to check the bag and walk quickly to my connecting gate with nothing on me so that at least I make it to my destination on time.
Reason 3 – Mrs. Lite Adventurer had never been to New Orleans, so she tagged along with me. If we were going to check a bag anyway due to my need for a suit, we decided that we might as well just pack all our stuff into a single bag and be done with it.
Reason 4 – Work is paying for this trip. Even the checked bag fee. No money out of this guy’s pocket, so it’s all good.
So yes, despite all my usual advice about packing light, this one trip presented a unique set of circumstances that forced my hand into checking luggage. If it weren’t for that super short connection in Atlanta, this wouldn’t have been necessary. It’s all good though. Next time I’ll be going back to the small backpack for sure.