It seems some baggage handlers in Cleveland were practicing their throwing skills for the Ramp Olympics. As I watched from the plane, I saw my cabin bag go flying happily through the air. This capped off what was one of the most surreal flights of my life.

When you’re flying American Airlines on short routes, the aircraft and crews are subcontracted to other airlines. All operate as American Eagle, but you will see names such as Piedmont and PSA crop up as the underlying carrier.

At The Gate

I was on Piedmont for a flight from Philadelphia to Cleveland and happily it was on time. Once I got to the gate, it was only a few moments before boarding was called.

The announcement was one continuous monologue, inviting Concierge Key and so on, then Group 1, then Group 2. That was me, and I was the first to board. As I scanned my boarding pass, I was told my cabin bag would have to get a Valet tag and go into the hold.

That I expected (the Embraer 145 has tiny overhead lockers), but what surprised me was the fact I was asked if I had any laptops, which I did. These I was told to take out and bring on board with me. “Are you serious?!” I enquired, to which she was.

The Flight

I headed on down the jetway with two laptops in my arms and left my cabin bag at the end for collection. As I boarded, the flight attendant asked if I had a bag for the computers, which I did not. I was advised to put them on the floor under the seat in front of me. Okay then!

AA5967 – Philadelphia to Cleveland (PHL-CLE)
3 December 2022
Embraer 145 – N918AE
Seat: Main Cabin Extra 12A
Departure: 16:00 Arrival: 17:43

I sat down in the exit row and boarding passed pretty quickly. The flight attendant then read off all the various announcements from her device and we headed to the runway. The pilots advised it might be bumpy on the climb out and descent.

We took off and the flight attendant made a PA about the on board service. A ding. No doubt a conversation. Another PA – there would be no on board service as the Captain wanted us all to stay seated throughout the flight.

Of course, I lucked out and was on the sunset side of the plane. Alas, I was in an exit row seat and there are no window blinds. With the sun directly in my face and nowhere to escape to, it kept things irritating.

Naturally the promised bad turbulence did not materialise and the flight was pretty much smooth throughout with a little light chop here and there. Some people visited the toilet at the back. Eventually we landed in Cleveland a little early.

Mad Throwing Skills

When they take your cabin bag, they put it in the hold and then get it off at the other end. You then wait in the jetway while the bags are brought back up to you and off you go. I waited and watched from my window, noticing my bag was first off. As other bags were put on the big silver twin deck trolley, mine fell off the other side.

This went unnoticed until the two guys were finished unloading and one of them started wheeling the trolley towards the jetway. His colleague noticed my stray bag on the ground, grabbed it and used his mad throwing skills to hurl it through the air about fifteen feet for a perfect landing on top of the trolley. Impressive! I collected my two laptops from under my feet and left the plane, grabbing my bag on the way out.

Overall Thoughts

Happily nothing in my bag was broken, and I was more amused with the throwing skills than anything else. I probably would have done the same given similar circumstances, but I am glad I was not carrying a load of porcelain plates as gifts or something like that!

Have you ever had anything damaged in your bags before? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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