Last week, I flew out of IAD bound for FLL. There were no cars in the drop-off zone, there was no line at TSA, and I got to my gate 90 minutes early, which almost never happens. Unfortunately, I got stuck with the very last boarding zone (I've since learned that United boards its planes from the windows inward, so don't book an aisle seat on United if you can help it).

Boarding began on time. And right away, it turned into a nightmare. A rather large woman with a lot of sass and an attitude had appointed herself dictator of the gate, and she was letting very few carry-on bags on board. She made every single passenger drop their carry-on bags into the little bag-sizing thingy by the gate. If it took more than two seconds to fit the bag, she snatched it away, saying "Uh-uh, not today. That ain't goin' on. FAA reg'lations." I don't know how many people she did this to exactly. I honestly stopped counting at 32. Several heated arguments broke out.

Also, this was not a tiny plane. This was a Boeing 737.

By the time she got to my boarding zone, she pointed at the entire line and said, "You all gettin' checked." She put a tag on my bag, which I ripped off as soon as she was out of sight. I carried my bag onto the plane, and what do you know, half of the overhead bin space was empty. I put it right above my seat.


Boarding the plane took well over an hour, and we took off 90 minutes late because of her. My head is still spinning.