It took nine hours of travel, and two planes to make what should have been a four hour flight home from San Diego yesterday. Ugh! While I was at the airports, I put my time to good use by reading Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. I was able to put their advice into practice right away, and boy was it effective!
On my original flights to San Diego, United made everyone in boarding classes 3 and 4 check their bags at the very last minute because there was supposedly not enough overhead space left. I dutifully compiled, only to see when I was walking down the aisle to my seat that there was tons of space left. Double Ugh!
So when I was persevering through a longer than expected layover on the way home, and the service desk lady made this announcement about forcing us to check our bags again, this time I decided to put some Love and Logic tactics into action and see if they would work in this situation. I knew I needed to: 1) show empathy that was perceived as sincere, 2) stay calm and not get angry, 3) let natural consequences do the teaching for me, 4) don’t get in a power struggle and 5) fall back on catch phrases if I ran into trouble. I went up the desk, looked the United lady in the eye, and dove in. Here’s how our very calm conversation went:
Me: It must be so hard to do your job and have to make announcements like this.
United Lady: Um… Are you in boarding class 3 or 4? I need to check your bags.
Me: Yes, I am in 3. But you see, the thing is, I was wondering if you would consider letting me keep my bags. I was just packing up my grandma’s house and I have things in here that I don’t want to risk losing.
Untied Lady: I’m sorry but everyone in boarding class 3 and 4 needs to check their bags. We have a full flight and there won’t be any room in the overhead space.
Me: Bummer. But you see, the last flight I was on a few days ago they made the same announcement and I checked my bag only to discover that there ended up being lots of overhead space on board. So now I would really prefer it if I could keep my bag with me. Would you think about letting me keep it?
United Lady: Oh okay, but you might have to surrender your bag later when you are on the flight and there isn’t enough room.
Me: Thank you for your consideration.
As it turns out, there was a ton for room for my bag when I finally made it onboard. You better believe I spent the rest of my flight finishing that book. I’m turning into a Love and Logic monster!