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It all came to a head about a dozen years ago as I walked through the Orlando airport schlepping an oversized suit bag crammed with the essentials for three days of life on the road. I noticed a number of flight attendants with new-fangled compact bags on small, nearly imperceptible wheels … while I continued schlepping, sweating, and gasping for breath on my way to the nearest smoking lounge. No way could I successfully travel for any number of days with such a small bag, I thought.

But I finally succumbed and went to Penney’s a few years later. Being not quite a COTS at the time (if you don’t know what that means-email me!), I opted for a bright red roller bag so could easily distinguish it on the baggage carousel. (My wife wanted to know why I had opted for such a “girlie” bag. I had to explain that everyone else was buying the black ones.) Even that didn’t work, as red was becoming more popular by the month. But that wasn’t an insurmountable problem, since I seldom check luggage, opting to carry on instead. Well, the smaller commuter flights can be a challenge, but even then you can usually check on the tarmac.

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