Is there really a secret system that “those in the know” use to always get first class airplane seats and suites at the best hotels?  Yes, actually there is a system and it’s pretty simple.


Kongo often reads with a high degree of admiration the hostel reviews written by brave travelers in exotic destinations.  This isn’t one of those reviews.  Kongo just doesn’t do hostels, frankly, and his idea of roughing it are defined by other parameters.  But Kongo does realize that there are all types of travelers and many different ideas about what constitutes acceptable lodging.  The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco is (in Kongo’s humble opinion) one of those places that qualifies as very acceptable lodging.

Do our personalities change when we fly?  If you score an upgrade are you suddenly superior to the poor schmuck with the same mileage status who ended up in a middle seat when his earlier flight was cancelled?

Watching people on airplanes is always a favorite pastime.  I am always amazed at the levels of cluelessness, arrogance, humanity, panache, obnoxiousness, and just plane rudeness I see on my frequent travels.

The following are a few observations I’ve learned to avoid being plane stupid in the sky.

A previous post addressed Kongo’s Jungle Rules in Airports.  Today he tackles carry on luggage.

Carry on luggage.   You don’t have to be tuned in to the jungle drum relay system to know that airplanes are crowded these days.  Kongo is usually on four planes a week and ALL of them are completely full.  This means that that there is not going to be enough room in the overhead bins for everyone to put all their gear up top and the stuff that does find a spot in the overhead is going to get squashed, squeezed, and banged as passengers try to use every bit of available space.  So, unless you have a ticket in first class or a high boarding priority code you are going to be fretting about whether your to die for mother of the bride dress is going to be ruined.   If you have a lousy boarding ticket, plan in advance and don’t pitch a fit on the plane if you your precious treasures won’t fit.