Another idea: Let the crack-down spread to all airlines and include basic equipment such as measuring tapes along with size-racks at all gates. And how about better trained employees? And I do mean employees; at least one of the bag-checkers in our story said he was not employed by the airline and was apparently a contract worker so it's no surprise he didn't know the rules. Makes you wonder: Was he arbitrarily pulling bags from the line to meet a quota? I don't know but I do know that if you use well-trained employees to ferret out only the cheaters, this is less likely to happen.
By the way, to ensure passengers follow the baggage rules, be sure passengers know the baggage rules. Give airfare shoppers a clearly marked link to both carry-on and checked bag regulations. We don't need all the details in our face while shopping, just an easy way to access the information. And passengers would have a duty to check it out.
Actually, passengers would have to check these rules frequently because they can change at any time without notice. Just last week, American announced its merger partner US Airways was trimming its carry-on dimensions by a few inches (to conform with AA's allowance) which may not seem like a vast difference but it is to the baggage police.
Finally, let's have these sizing dramas play out before a traveler gets to the gate. In fact, put the baggage police in front of security checkpoints. It'll make it easier to collect a fee if one is warranted, and easier for non-cheaters to make their planes.
I wish that's how it played out for me. Yes, I was the traveler who had his bag taken away. And yes, it was not life-or-death. But it gives me a much better idea of why so many people unfortunately say, "I hate to fly."
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.