Thursday, May 20, 2010

Airplane and airport etiquette ~ It's not rocket science

**** I travel a lot, and it's always the same story. I always have the same questions and run into the same situations, so I decided to post about it.

1. Can anyone tell me why people have to line up and crowd the gate area when other people are trying to board a plane? Why can't these people sit down and wait for their zones/rows to be called?

The gate agent gets on the speaker and announces that he/she will start the boarding process shortly. Then the next thing you know, everyone has to load up their 15 carry-on bags and try to race to the front of the line. It's like the opening of the concert gates for a general admission concert and everyone is trying to get to the front of the stage. Give me a break. They all aren't traveling with small kids, and they all can't possibly need that much time to board the plane. If you're guilty of this behavior, please sit down and wait for your zone/rows to be called (i.e. like a reasonably intelligent person).

2. How difficult is it to place your metal objects in the trays?

I'll never understand why people can't remember to take the metal objects out of their pockets before they go through the metal detector. Cell phones, money clips, chunky metal jewelry, large belt buckles etc. will set off the machine. It's a METAL detector. Come on, people. It's not that tough.

3. Why do people think they can move forward, when asking someone to switch seats with them so that they can sit with a traveling companion?

If you're going to ask someone to switch seats with you so you can sit next to your traveling companion, you should make sure that the other person isn't being penalized for their willingness to help. If you have a middle seat and want to sit next to someone who's closer to the front, your travel companion should be willing to move to the back. Let me clarify. No one likes the back of the plane, because the lavatory is right there and it makes catching a connection challenging with the "church exit" departure. Bottom line, your travel companion moves to the back and someone else gets promoted to the front.

4. Why do people stand in the ticket kiosk line, but don't move to the empty machine?

If you're not going to use the ticket kiosk machine, get out of that line.

5. Why are you using the first class cabin "amenities" (i.e. overhead bins, any pillows or blankets, the lavatory), when your seat is in coach?

Bottom line: Respect the curtain.

Whew. Now that I got that off my chest, I feel much more relaxed. Traveling can be frustrating, but I really believe that if people would act "right", the entire process can go much smoother for everyone. It's not rocket science.

Typical boarding cluster...

Here's one more story about a "smarty" at the airport, that I had the "pleasure" to experience.  An older guy, who admitted to an airline employee that he had a cracked rib, requested to sit in the emergency exit row.  The airline employee had the sense to deny his request, and the injured guy had the nerve to argue with her.  Score one point for the airline.  Great job!


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