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By Christopher Elliott, Tribune Media Services - One minute I was rolling my carry-on bag along the concourse floor at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The next, I was arguing with a useless box on wheels -- and dreading what would happen to my back if I had to carry it.

The extendable handle on the bag was stuck, and no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't retract. I had to haul the bag on the plane without the help of wheels. With my bad back, I knew I would feel that the next morning.