Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Rules for travelers

As a public service, I thot I'd post a few rules that might help everyone be better people (defined as: people who don't annoy me). So without any ado, here are Bryan's Eleven Rules of Air Travel:

1. Figure out what you're doing, prepare to do it, then do it. In that order. Briskly. Don't get in line until you have your ticket out. Have your ID available *before* the agent asks for it. Get your laptop out of its case and your shoes in the busboy tub IN ADVANCE, rather than waiting until one microsecond before you have to go thru the security thing.

2. Consider the flow of foot-traffic. Look about you. Do not wander aimlessly. When possible, walk the direction you are facing. If you face left while you tack diagonally right, you effectively own the entire width of the walkspace. Don't have a joyful kissfest with your returning lover two feet from the top of the escalator. Don't stage a family reunion in the middle of the only passage that leads to Baggage Claim.

3. Walk left, stand right. It's not that difficult. Escalators, walkways, corridors. Walk left, stand right. Repeat after me.

4. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the person behind the counter did not lose your luggage, delay your flight, or cause bad weather in Chicago. Shouting and swearing are rude, counterproductive, and a waste of time. Be polite, give the folks a break, and you'd be surprised how eager they are to help you.

5. Board when your row number/seating area is called. If you wish to employ the popular "hovering" technique -- whereby the Seating Area 3 people stand up when Seating Area 2 is called, and hover around the rear of the line in order the be the Very First Person from Area 3, make it clear to everyone around you that you are Not In Line, you are hovering. Do not take a place in line, but then stand still so that people have to figure out you are merely a Hoverer and step around you. There are accepted hovering zones and hovering body language -- figure it out. Also, do not multiple-area hover. If you are Area 4, there's no need to hover until Area 3 is called, for heaven's sake. One more thing: unless you have serious carry-on issues, hovering isn't necessary at all. The entire plane will arrive at our destination at the same time. Unless it crashes to the earth, spreading flaming wreckage and body parts all over Nebraska, in which case you'll feel really silly about all that hovering, won't you?

6. Step out of the aisle, then stow your crap. There are 200 people waiting to do the same thing in the rows behind yours.

7. Consider the size of your carry-on luggage; now consider the size of the overhead bins; do this before you get on the aircraft. A hockey bag will not fit overhead no matter how many sweaters you pull out of it and drape around your neck as passengers shift restlessly in the aisle behind you.

8. Pee before you get on the plane, so you don't have to fight your way back upstream, salmon-like, from the rear of the aircraft during the boarding process.

9. When leaving the plane, if you don't already have your carryon in your hand, let the people in the aisle pass before stepping out to begin your luggage-sorting extravaganza. Just because you are in row 14 doesn't mean you must exit before anyone else who was sitting in a row behind you. All that space stretching out between you and the exit makes the people behind you agitated and is bad for your karma.

10. If the flight is arriving late and this is your final destination, stay in your seat so the rest of us can dash madly but hopelessly through the airport to miss our connecting flights.

11. When retrieving your luggage at baggage claim, there is no need to stand one millimeter from the carousel, jostling for position like a bunch of oversized penguins. Your luggage will arrive when it arrives. If everyone stood six feet from the carousel, we could all see our bag arriving, couldn't we? Then we could step forward smartly to retrieve it, turn around, and begin the 45-minute wait for the Hotel Shuttle of Mystery. As it is, we have to stand on tiptoe, trying for a glimpse of our bag, then fight our way through all the people who for some reason feel compelled to stake out two feet of personal carousel space as if the mother penguin was going to come down the chute and feed them all kippers.
(Not that it bothers me -- if I cared, I'd be talking about it...)

Anyway, I hope this helps. You're welcome.


At Wed Dec 01, 03:46:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think most of this is solid advice. I'd like some clarification on #1, though. If I'm wearing flip-flops, sometimes I like to wait until the last second and then take them off with a little circus-like kick flip into the plastic tub. When I'm successful, there's always a smattering of applause, and I think that's worth it. Thoughts? -Kire


Post a Comment

<< Home