It’s amazing what two twenties will do. When I arrived at LAX last week, I had no intention of lugging seven heavy boxes through the airport by myself to the regular check-in counter. Instead, I stuffed my fist with cash and walked up to the Sky Cap counter, which had a line 40-some people deep.
Two nights before a reader named Eileen had shared a valuable but expensive lesson on luggage. “My Mother taught me this,” Eileen said. “If you ever need help at the airport, put a fifty dollar bill in your raised hand and ask if anyone can help. Someone will find you.”
Eileen was right. With $40 in my left hand, I approached the Sky Cap counter.
“I have seven boxes to check. Is it okay if I put them right here while I wait in line?”
Two junior Sky Caps conferred and decided it would be okay to tuck my bags off to the side so I wouldn’t have to inch them forward as I waited in line. I think they saw my twenties.
I put my cash back in my pocket and began unloading boxes from my friend’s car. A senior Sky Cap came over while I was dropped off box No. 3 and I double checked that it was okay to stockpile my boxes while waiting in line. It was.
When I dropped off the last box he was waiting for me. Had he seen my twenties? I’m pretty sure.
“How many are you flying with?”
“We’re going to have to charge you for those extra bags, unfortunately.”
“That’s fine. I did the math and Southwest is the cheapest.”
The senior Sky Cap asked for my full name and suggested I step down two counters so he could check me in. What? No line?
He DEFINITELY saw my twenties. Because he offered to let me cut, I didn’t protest.
I checked in and was free of my burdensome bags within 10 minutes. I paid $250 for my seven pieces of luggage (the first two bags are free on Southwest and each bag after that up to 10 bags is $50). Not a single bag was weighed – at least that I saw. Bags over 50 pounds are $100 and one of my pieces was awfully heavy. Did my big tip save me an overweight baggage fee? I’ll never know.
I jumped into the security line and wondered if big spenders regularly experienced the ease and comfort I had. My $40 saved me time, reduced my stress, and got me out of the mid-day heat.
I rarely sympathize with big spenders – I have been known to scoff at overt displays of wealth – but after my $40 worked wonders at the airport I have a new perspective. Spending money, and not just saving it, can bring peace of mind. So if a Sky Cap at my destination airport happens to notice my fresh twenties and offers to lug my seven boxes across baggage claim? Well, I’m going to smile and say thank you.
What was your most worthwhile splurge?
Thanks for the tip, Eileen!