The Wrap by Ron Judd

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At the risk of attempting to make sense of something as idiotic as U.S. air travel, a question for local execs at one of our favorite Seattle-based airlines, Alaska.

Please explain the logic of the following set of recently observed policies:

1) Passengers are charged $20 to check a first bag on all flights.

2) In a predictable response, customers, by attempting to stuff bags the size of porta-potties into overhead compartments designed for purses, have made boarding planes about as efficient as an emergency evacuation of downtown Seattle via Mercer Street.

3) At the gates on some chock-full flights, said passengers, rather than being ordered to pay double to check their SUV-sized carry-on, are offered the chance to help with space by “gate-checking” said bag — for free. As a further incentive, they get to board early, just after the 1 percenters in first class.

So remind us again why, in this reward-the-rule-breaker scenario, anyone should ever choose to willingly check a bag?

More stunning logic:

Reporting from Seat 29C: Mr. Wrap has just been informed that he is only 960,000-some miles short of becoming a “Million Miler” on Alaska. That is the point where they pay to have both of your knees replaced.

We Kid Alaska: But truth is, those men and women flying planes from Bombardiers to 737s into godforsaken places from here to Nome every day, with nary an incident, pretty much rock.

Speaking of Flying: Favorite recent quote from the security line, from an elderly man in golf get-up, speaking loudly enough to make his lady companion turn crimson, to a TSA agent: “You want my pants, too?”

To Our Old Friends Across the Pond: Thanks so much for sending Prime Minister David Cameron over to dine with the Obamas and help shore up the time-honored U.S. / Brit alliance. But any true friend would have sent Pippa.

New Meaning to “Uniform Code”: Anyone else wondering what will happen if faithful Wrap reader John Henry Browne, now branching out into military justice, appears before a military tribunal wearing that blonde-Oreo-colored three-piece suit?

Speaking of Teases: That “spring” time adjustment sure was a cold slap in the face. Nothing like springing forward into a wall of sideways rain.

Inarguable Oxymoron Department: From a news release: “The (July 20-22) Sequim Lavender Farm Faire is the premier lavender event in North America.”

Talk About Your Casual Fridays: In the interest of expediency, could anyone in the Puget Sound metro area who is not alleged to have had sex with Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon during “work hours” please contact State Patrol investigators?

Ahem: The Reardon investigation revealed that, on a trip with a mistress in 2007, he initially charged a hotel honor bar “intimacy kit,” including condoms and lubricant, on his county credit card. The nerve of this guy to be using public funds to prepare for a career in Congress.

And Finally: Before you can argue that the early departure of former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-He’s Just Not That Into You, will hamstring the important work of Congress, don’t you first have to establish that there is some?

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at

or 206-464-8280.