Making The Rules Up As They Go Along

After dumping my toothpaste and stashing my gel deodorant, I was turned back from the American Airlines’ SFO security line by a contractor saying that no rolling bags were allowed as carry-on. A half-dozen of us were incredulous. We had prepared for the “no-liquids” rule, but no one had heard of a “no-wheeled bags” rule. We trudged back to the counter and waited 20 minutes to check our bags.

I asked the American gate agent about this rule. She hadn’t heard of it, but said “The TSA is changing the rules minute by minute.” Walking back to the security line, I asked a TSA guy about this rule. “Not our rule,” he said,” we’re fine with rolling bags as long as they don’t have any liquids.” I asked the contractor who turned me back whose rule it was. “American Airlines,” she said. I called American while in the security line. “Rolling bags are allowed as long as they fit the dimension limits,” the agent said. No one would claim responsibility for this.

I don’t think travelers have a problem following the rules — we just need to know what they are. I’ll give American Airlines another chance on Monday when I fly down to Houston. If they continue to make random, arbitrary rule changes, I switch to another airlines. Travel is getting bad enough without airlines piling on their own unique hassles.

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  1. I have commented before that unfortunately the types of people attracted to these sorts of jobs tend to be ones that want to feel important and control circumstances and they can sometimes take advantage of just this sort of situation. They certainly aren’t in it for the money 🙂

    I am constantly amazed at how poor communications is in a lot of situations but especially in those involving several different groupd or agencies. Hey, the FBI, FAA and other agencies can’t even come up with a consolidated no fly list after almost five years!

  2. I spent last week driving (not flying) and it looks the same for the upcoming week, thank goodness. The following week it’s back to the airport,maybe they will have all this cleared up by then, maybe.
    Now do I break my rule of “No Checked Bags” and rely on the hotel to stock my DOP kit each trip?
    And what were you going to do with a roller bag anyway? I would imagine that the corner of a 6lb Dell laptop to the skull would do as much (if not more) damage than a roller bag, but then again I’m not smart enough to work for the TSA and figure those things out.