Changes to carry-on luggage rules

I have several responses to the recent changes to carry-on items.

First, if I am unable to get water in sufficient quantities on-board an aircraft, then I will not fly. I already try to avoid it for all short-haul trips, but the lack of investment in inter-city rail, and the lack of connectivity between airports and rail stations in Canada severly restricts this. For instance, there is no reason for an airplane to ever travel between Ottawa and Montreal.

Not having the right to provide myself with enough water is a public health issue. Water is critical to being comfortable when flying. Many airlines have clued in and come through with water at frequent intervals, but not often enough.

Since Transport Canada is permitting the number of flight attendants to be decreased (1:75 instead of 1:50, I believe it is), the amount of water will decrease. Airlines therefore MUST provide more water. For the sake of the environment, I am happy to bring my own container, but that may be hard to audit.

Second, I am primarily a business traveller. I travel with my laptop computer. I avoid Air Canada whenever possible, since they simply do not provide enough space between seats to operate my laptop. I’m tall, but not overweight, and I don’t fit in the seats. If you want to know why people get air-rage, look to the size of the seats.

My laptop, however is a far greater risk than water. Having me turn my laptop on is not very effective: less than 50% of the space in the case of my laptop is devoted to the electronics that turn it on.

Thirdly, as a business traveller I understand that sometimes people want to have their wheelie case on board. It makes them feel important — that they showed up at the last minute, and changed their ticket so quickly that they couldn’t check their baggage.

Nonsense. We don’t let people do that anymore, and if we do, I would suggest that this is an even greater risk.

People regularly put their bags above OTHER PEOPLEs seats. I say that they should banned as far too hard to search properly.

Finally, it used to be in Canadian airports, one was lucky to have a water fountain on the secure side of the airport. None of this shopping mall stuff. We’ve changed. We’ve given up large amounts of security so that we can shop. That’s a significant security concern for me.

At Heathrow, you go through a second set of scanners before getting on the airplane. Maybe we should just move the scanners there, and stop pretending that the airport-shopping malls have any security at all.