by Nancy Bestor
Bob and I almost never check our bags. It’s not that I am worried about lost luggage. And it’s not because I don’t want to pay the checked bag fee. The real reason is that at the end of my trip, when home is ever so close, I don’t want to wait the 15 interminable minutes it takes for bags to come off the carousel at the Medford Airport. Er…excuse me. The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.
I’m always surprised at how long it takes. The airplane is really just a short distance from the baggage carousel at our little “International” airport. And when I’m tired and just want to get home, the 15 minutes seems like 45.
But, unfortunately, there are times when checking a bag is necessary. Last month on our cycling trip to Jordan was one such time. We needed to bring lots of our own equipment—bike helmets, bike shoes, bike pedals, etc., etc. So we paid to check one bag on Alaska Airlines down to San Francisco, before catching our international flight via Turkish Airlines, where a checked bag is still free. We also had to pay for our return from SFO back to Medford. The cost was $25 each way. Alaska conveniently lets you pay for your checked bag when you check-in online, 24 hours or so before your flight, AND print your luggage tag right at home. This saves time at the airport, as we did not have to wait in line with other travelers who were checking in for the same flight. Alaska also provides a plastic reusable bag tag holder at the airport, and we simply slipped our tag into the holder, attached it to our bag, and handed the bag to an agent. You can even request up to four reusable holders to be mailed to you in advance on Alaska’s website.
We did indeed have to wait 15 long minutes for our bag to come off the carousel in Medford. But what are you going to do? Patience is a virtue, or so I’ve heard.