0

Please secure your luggare before the flight - Curt Yeomans

Look, I'm sure your undergarments are nice, but I do not want to watch them continuously rolling around the carousel -- by themselves -- at the airport baggage claim area.

It's funny how things just pop into your head. I was reading about how one local radio station was waging a campaign to get the word "Hotlanta" banned. That got me thinking of how the nickname "ATL" is not a good thing to call the city, because it makes me think of the stickers they put on your luggage when you're flying to Atlanta.

That, in turn, led me to think of picking up luggage at baggage claim, which finally brought back memories of seeing the baggage claim carousels littered with clothing from broken luggage.

You see, on every flight, there is inevitably one person whose luggage -- after the flight ends -- pops open and spills personal garments on the baggage claim carousel.

And, it is never all concentrated in one spot on the carousel. Oh no, those suckers are spread out all over the carousel. You go to pull your suitcase off the carousel, and there are a couple of bras and a scarf wrapped around them. Come to think of it, it seems that it's always luggage belonging to women that spills contents all over baggage claim.

When I was arriving back in Atlanta from Rome, earlier this year, I saw a lone, gold-painted, leather, high-heel shoe making the carousel run all by itself. Who knows where the other shoe was; it never did roll around. Eventually, a few other pieces of stray garments came a long, and finally, the broken luggage came tumbling onto the carousel, and once it hit, the semi-opened suitcase fully popped open.

Bras and panties went flying everywhere. It was just a hot mess right there in the middle of the airport.

It is really inconvenient to have to untangle someone else's clothes from your luggage. You don't want the owner of the clothes to see you touching their clothes, because they, then, might claim you're some sort of pervert, or thief. So, you end up grabbing your suitcase and trying to shake off the mystery clothes without actually coming into contact with them.

And, you know everyone else is not even looking at the luggage when a piece of clothing passes by. No, they are staring at the pair of panties that just rolled by, or the broken suitcase that still has a few clothes hanging out of it. Then, they are looking around to see who is going to claim all of that stuff.

And, have you ever noticed that is one of the last pieces of luggage to be claimed from the carousel?

You know, this would not happen to you, if you would (A) not overstuff your luggage, and (B) lock the zippers together with a Transportation Security Administration-approved combination lock. The locks are not that expensive, you know, and they can be bought at Walmart and Target.

It would not hurt to invest in some straps to wrap around your luggage to keep it shut.

Oh, there is one other thing -- do not use a cardboard box as your suitcase. That is just a recipe for disaster, because only the shipping companies seem capable of handling cardboard boxes with care.

So, people please, please, please, keep this in mind when you are packing your suitcase for a flight. I'm pretty sure you don't want your panties on display for everyone at the airport to see.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.