Personal baggage: a flight attendant has to clear the air, when some valuable baggage gets waylaid ...
Subject: Luggage (Laws, regulations and rules)
Airports (Laws, regulations and rules)
Jewelry (Laws, regulations and rules)
Author: Long, Laird
Pub Date: 03/22/2012
Publication: Name: The Forensic Examiner Publisher: American College of Forensic Examiners Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Law; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 American College of Forensic Examiners ISSN: 1084-5569
Issue: Date: Spring, 2012 Source Volume: 21 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Government regulation
Product: Product Code: 2394060 Backpacks, Sports Bags & Travel Bags; 4582000 Airports; 3911200 Jewelry ex Platinum & Gold NAICS Code: 314911 Textile Bag Mills; 48811 Airport Operations; 339911 Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing SIC Code: 2393 Textile bags; 4581 Airports, flying fields, & services
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 280966768
Full Text: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Joan Howard knew she was in for a bumpy flight when she heard the two women arguing at the check-in counter, and one of them yelled, 'Flight 823!' That was her flight, the four-hour non-stop from Los Angeles to Chicago. Joan was one of the flight attendants.

She sighed, and walked over closer to the airline's check-in counter to hear what the argument was all about. She quickly learned from their raised voices that the two women were sisters, heading home after the funeral of an aunt.

"You see," the red-haired sister explained to Chloe, the customer service agent, "Auntie Louise left me her jewelry collection, and I will not allow it to be lost by you airlines people."

Both women had two bulging bags-on-wheels apiece.

"As I told you, ma'am," Chloe said, "each passenger is allowed only one piece of carry-on luggage. It's airline policy."

"But Auntie Louise's collection is in two separate jewelry boxes--packed in these two separate bags!" The woman pointed at the stuffed luggage at her feet.

"Why don't you just give me one of your bags, Mollie, while you carry the other one on board, and I'll check all of my luggage?" the blonde-haired sister suggested.

"Oh no you don't, Mavis!" Mollie exclaimed. "Auntie Louise left all of her jewelry to me. Because she knew I'd take proper care of it." "Sell it, you mean," Mavis gritted.

"Why, that's-"

"Ladies, please!" Chloe interrupted. She looked at Mollie. "Ma'am, why don't you just transfer one of the jewelry boxes into the other bag, so you'll have them both together in one piece of luggage--to take on the plane?"

Mollie threw up her hands. "Oh, all right! If it's 'airline policy'."

The woman spent the next 10 minutes opening up and rearranging the contents of her stuffed luggage so that she could move a red jewelry box from one bag into the other bag, where a green jewelry box was already packed. In the meantime an exasperated line-up of fellow travelers stood around and watched.

An hour later, Joan greeted the two women when they boarded the aircraft, each with one bulging bag-on-wheels. They were still bickering, the subject still Auntie Louise's jewelry collection and the distribution of same.

Joan was relieved to see, however, that due to a full aircraft, Mavis was seated in 9A, Mollie in 22D. So at least the two women couldn't continue their argument during the flight. Other crew members helped them cram their over-packed bags into the overhead compartments.

Two hours into the flight, most of the passengers were either dozing or watching a movie or listening to music in the darkened cabin. That's when Joan and her colleagues enjoyed a 15-minute break behind the privacy of a curtain they drew across the galley.

It was raining when they touched down in Chicago. Joan smiled at the passengers as they filed off the aircraft. Even at Mavis, now wearing a pillbox hat perched atop her blonde hair, dragging her bulging bag behind her.

Joan was helping the woman lift the wheels of her luggage over the door lip, when Mollie suddenly shrieked from the rear of the plane, "Stop her! She's stolen my Auntie Louise's jewelry!"

The frantic woman pushed her way down the aisle full of people and confronted her sister. "You took my red jewelry box out of my bag--the box with the most valuable pieces in it!" She unzipped her own piece of luggage, revealing a noticeably vacant, square-shaped spot in the otherwise full bag.

"That's ridiculous!" Mavis retorted. "Assuming you didn't just misplace the box, any one of the other passengers--or crew--could've taken Auntie Louise's jewelry." She turned to Joan. "Maybe you should let my sister search everybody?"

Joan looked at the woman and calmly replied, "That won't be necessary. You did take the jewelry box, as your sister said."

HOW DID JOAN KNOW THAT MAVIS TOOK THE JEWELRY BOX?

SOLUTION: Mavis' bag was still r bulging full as she left the aircraft, despite having taken a hat out--the pillbox hat she was wearing. She took the hat out of her bag to make room for the stolen red jewelry box. An empty hatbox will no doubt be found under her seat, where she discarded it.

LAIRD LONG: Long pounds out fiction in all genres. Big guy, sense of humor. Writing credits include: Blue Murder Magazine, Orchard Press Mysteries, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Plots With Guns, Hardboiled, Thriller UK, Shred of Evidence, Bullet, Albedo One, Baen's Universe, Sniplits, 5 Minute Mystery, Woman's World, and stories in the anthologies Amazing Heroes, The Mammoth Book of New Comic Fantasy, The Mammoth Book of Jacobean Whodunits, and The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries.
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