Friday, May 1, 2015

Packing Cube Miracles

Thanks to the continued nickle-and-diming of the airline industry, my first super flight deal 18 months ago was basically $19 each way plus taxes and that included a carry-on for the overhead compartment as well as a "personal item" that fits under the seat in front of me. By then, nothing but water was complimentary on the flight and any other drink would run you $2 and up, credit cards only.

By May of last year, right after my third such deal, Frontier started charging for the carry-on each way, as well. And these one way deals had inched up from $19 to $39, and then $44. 

There are also no checked bags included in the price of the ticket. By my calculations, you're not only paying for every checked piece of luggage but also building in the additional time it takes to hand it over to the conveyor belt at one end and stand around for an additional half hour on the other, hoping it made it. Each way.

By this trip, they not only charge for the carry-on each way, but they charge you to pretty much choose any seat but the dreaded middle ones. A whopping $35 (each way) for seats near the front, staggering down to a third of that price for windows or aisles at the far back. The bargain row nearest the front is the aisle directly ahead of the exit row, which means the seats do not recline. That's the one I selected this time, because, as established, I'm cheap.

When I'm staying for a week, have a variety of things planned, and sweat all the time, unless I want to do laundry nightly, I end up with a pretty good amount of clothes I need to try and fit into my carry-on that meets the small space requirements they've got in place (24" x 10" x 16").

All of this to say, I'm not sure how I would do it without packing cubes. 

I'll admit to being a skeptic. I was a clothes-roller for packing from way back and could not work out the geometry of how adding some little rectangles to the mix could possibly result in more space. 

But it does.

The pile on Wednesday, and ten minutes later, the result:

All of this to say, with Marie's generous offer to purchase me a Southwest flight on the next trip, coming into Hobby  (another crazy notion), I realized I'd been assimilated into the nickle and dime mindset. One of my first thoughts was, "oh, that's a waste. I don't need two free checked bags!" 


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