Then I packed for England .... the bag that had seemed big for 2-day trips bulged with a week's worth of clothes. And on the first leg of my trip, a turboprop to Newark, I had to gate check it! I was to go entirely carryon to avoid checking things, but I checked it at the gate!
I got aboard my Gatwick-bound 747, and had the worst time maneuvering it through the coach aisle. And when I FINALLY got to my seat, being a total neophyte, I couldn't figure out where to store it! But someone pointed out an overhead compartment with enough room. Getting into Gatwick, the jetway didn't work, so I had to lug the stupid thing down the steps off the plane and back up the steps into Gatwick. You could say I stood out.
On the return flight, on a DC-10, the bag and wheels got gate-checked. Once aboard, I found another man had mistakenly taken my seat -- he was a row ahead. Then he struck up a conversation with me. He had been on my flight over, and remembered me because of the trouble I'd had with my bag! How odd.
Odder still, I never learned the guy's name, and I haven't seen or heard from him since.
And I haven't gone all-carryon on my subsequent flights to England, either!
MICHAEL J GALLAGHER