We told you a few weeks ago about Scottevest’s ad rejection by Delta. Of course, Delta is far from the only airline with restrictive baggage fees. It seems like every company has extra charges for heavier bags, less room for carry-ons, etc. So what do you do if you’re a voracious reader?
John Naughton of the Guardian UK stumbled on this particular issue. He was looking to bring books on vacation but realized his reading list would have eaten up a big chunk of the weight restrictions on his Ryanair flight. So he broke down and bought a Kindle, despite his previous objections to owning an ebook reader.
Specifically, he says:
It suddenly occurred to me that Amazon had – many moons ago – released a free Kindle app for the iPad (and related Apple idevices) which enabled their owners to buy books from the Kindle store. So I downloaded the app, purchased the books and suddenly had the desired texts in my pocket without having to choose between them and my shaving kit.
I felt ambivalent about this, because a part of me loathes the intellectual property tyranny that goes with ebooks – the fact that you can’t lend them to your friends, for example. And, of course, the fact that Amazon could, at a whim, remotely delete the book from one’s iPad. These “digital restrictions management” provisions are examples of the kind of intellectual property extremism that is the bane of the digital world. My unease stemmed from the fact that, when faced with a conflict between principle and exigency, I caved in.
Look at it this way —if you already own an iPad or a Kindle, traveling with ebooks over paper ones may mean the difference between paying $20 to check a regular bag and $100 for an “overweight” bag. While it’s tough to figure out EXACTLY how much the average book weighs, I did look on Amazon for the shipping weight of an average hardcover. Steig Larsson’s last book, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest” clocks in at 2lbs when shipped through Amazon. Assuming they didn’t throw in a lead-lined box, it’s a good shot the actual weight of the book is somewhere in the 1.75lb range (allowing for the box weight as well). Let’s say you’re a big reader (or traveling with multiple people who like to read). 10 hardcovers at 1.75lbs comes in at 17.5lbs overall. That’s a lot of books when having a bag over 50lbs might mean you’re paying almost $100 in baggage fees!
So if you don’t already own or use an ebook reader, there’s a very compelling cost savings for you! We’re going on vacation next week, and while Sarah likes my Kindle, she’s still planning on bringing a stack of paper books with her…maybe this will change her mind!