Much of my week involved a business trip to Pennsylvania. I don't travel often but even if I did, I don't think I would become one of those idiotic and jaded travelers that you see. I love flying, how can you not? When the plane starts moving on the runway and I can feel the acceleration in my chest and then the plane starts lifting off the ground way sooner than I would like was possible, I can't help but smile and feel giddy. I'm fucking flying...that is SO awesome.
Even in my limited travels, I know that it can get be tiring and frustrating. I've had to deal with lost luggage, missed connections, delays, sitting on the tarmac, confusion over booking, etc... I really don't let it get me down, it happens and it does no good to be a jerkhole to others because of it.
Here are a few of the people that annoyed me this trip.
- People who stand up and crowd the aisle as soon as the plane stops at the gate. I happened to be sitting in the back of the plane and knew it was going to be at least 20 minutes before we were able to deboard...even in front it takes about 10 minutes for them to open the doors and follow the security checklist to let people out. So all these people stand up and start swinging their carry-on's around and then complain that the line isn't moving.
- People who don't seem to wear deodorant. A plane is hot and crowded and recycles the cabin air...any smell is just going to get worse and worse as the flight goes on. Deodorant is a great invention of the 19th century, everyone should be using it by now.
- People who take too large of carry-on bags. I know, it sucks that most airlines now charge for checking a bag, but it actually makes sense to me since they are incurring all kinds of handling labor to get your bag to you. It needs to be taken at check-in, given to security, scanned, searched, transported to the plane, loaded correctly (evenly distributed), unloaded, transfered to your connection flight, loaded, unloaded, and delivered to baggage claim. That is a lot of handling and I agree that if I don't require that, then I shouldn't have to pay for it. But I also think they need to have everyone test their carry-on and if it doesn't fit in the tester than it must be checked. People were taking way too large of bags onto the plane...probably double the size or more of the test fixture. And not just one, but two bags...plus a laptop/briefcase/purse. I know it isn't pleasant but I think the carry-on rules need to be enforced because it makes it very cramped for everyone else.
- People who don't listen when the steward tells them that they need to turn off all electronics including cell phones. Our flight had been delayed due to weather conditions at our destination and people were trying to make hotel plans since they missed their connections. I am fine with that...but there was one jerk who was talking to American Express and having them make arrangements. The problem was, he was not happy with the hotel that they tried to book him into (many hotels close to the airport were already full), so he kept going "check this hotel, check this hotel, how far away is that, how about this, what about that...." For 10 minutes this idiot kept us all waiting because the plane wouldn't leave until he turned off his cell phone. Everyone was pissed. If we had been leaving a larger airport or flying on a larger plane (one with more than a single steward - and she was relatively small in stature), or if we weren't the last plane out for the day and the airport pretty much closed up...I think this guy would have been kicked off for not obeying the air staff. He should have been, but I think all these factors made it difficult and probably would have taken more time in the long run. It was a total dick move and I am sure I am not the only one that wanted to punch the guy in the face...you couldn't have done this the other two and half hours we were delayed? Turn off your phone...you just made us even more late and some are still hoping to catch our connections.
- Clueless people. Once we arrived in Chicago, there was not an open jetway. In coming and out going traffic had all been delayed due to storms and now that it was clear everything was piling up. We could have stayed on the plane for an hour until a jetway opened but they found a parking spot that was just a very short walk to the terminal. I thought that was great, the weather was beautiful and it was neat to stand on the tarmac and watch the planes land and take off not too far away. For people who had to check their carry-ons, they needed to wait and pick them up...my travel partner had to wait and I was happy to wait with him to get a close up look at airport operations. But I also realized that it was a working tarmac with baggage carts, mobile stairways, refueling trucks, and other planes moving in close proximity, plus with increased airport security it was just nice that they were even letting us do this...so when you were told to stand somewhere and not move from the area, you would think everyone would stay put. Never underestimate idiots...one guy decided he wanted to go check out a parked baggage cart that was waiting to load another plane and later started to walk around by these large diesel holding tanks. This during a wait that was a total of about 8 minutes. He got yelled at by the ground crew, but they looked like he was being treated unfairly.
I hate all the security regulations like taking off your shoes and not being able to take more than 3oz sizes of liquids. I am not sure these methods actually work...but it is something that you have to deal with. I just wish I didn't also have to deal with all the other idiots in addition to this (and these are just a few...there are many more).