“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Travel - Part Two

I told you this was coming. Rather than a full-blown rant, how about a few suggestions? This concerns passengers. It is quite easy to be hard on the airlines and their employees, but what about us; are we good travelers/customers? NO, not all the time!

So, here's a couple of suggestions/comments from me to you, you will recognize yourself, I do :-) Maybe you are in more than one group, so just read on!

Vacationers (and extremely infrequent travelers):

1. Please take time BEFORE you get to the TSA screening area to familiarize yourself with procedures for entering into the secured departure terminal. Do not stand at the X-Ray screening device and THEN begin to figure out what to do.

2. Just because you are on vacation DOES NOT mean that everyone else is, so please be efficient and prepared, OK? And DO NOT play twenty questions with every ticket agent, TSA agent, and/or gate agent that you encounter. If you see a line forming behind you, don't stand there discussing your travel destination. There is nothing wrong with doing this if the terminal is lightly loaded, but please refrain from this practice otherwise!

3. Some answers for you NOW (before you get to the screening area)
a. YES - You DO HAVE to place your purse on the X-ray belt to be screened.
b. YES - You SHOULD remove your shoes.
c. YES - If its metal put it in a plastic bin for screening.
d. NO - DO NOT put your ID and ticket in a plastic bin for screening, CARRY IT WITH YOU!

Parents:

1. Every one of your children DO NOT need a roller bag for the trip, gimme a break! What does a 5-year old have that requires a seperate roller bag? While this may placate the child, it also takes away space in the overhead bins for someone who actually needs a rollerbag.

2. Bring something to occupy your child, especially if they are a self-centered brat used to getting their own way! Everyone on the plan does not want to be serenaded with "I WANT A CRACKER" at the top of the child's lungs for a 3 hour period. Do not punish the rest of us for your lack of parenting skills!

3. DO NOT bring the largest stroller you can find and the complain about not being able to get it in the overhead.

4. DO NOT bring a newborn/infant on the plane. I know, Grandma wants to see her baby; let her fly down/up to see you. Flying hurts a baby's ears, which in turn has a tendency to hurt everyone else's ears. I know there are exceptions to this rule, but overall, there is not a good reason to bring an infant on a plane. People USED TO sacrifice travel for a while in deference to others and their own children! I feel bad for those infants who are in obvious pain as the plane pressurizes. give them, and us, a break!

5. Arrange to sit with your children, do not foist them upon some poor, unsuspecting business traveler who then has to defend himself/herself from projectile vomiting, a precocious child, screaming, or getting his/her briefcase colored with bright crayons (happened to me).


Businessmen/Frequent Travelers:

1. You're not that important; get over yourself.

2. STOP treating everyone else like dirt, I probably have twice as many air miles as you, so learn to put up with the annoyances of traveling. I may not like these annoyances, but I do not sit around cussing at the top of my lungs about it.

3. STOP bringing everything you own on-board the plane and then berating the attendents when you cannot fit the steamer trunk, (just because it has wheels does not make it a rollerbag), that you brought, into the overhead bin. CHECK a bag, give everyone else a break.

4. GET OFF your cell phone when the attendent asks you to, and don't turn it on AS SOON as we are wheels down, calling someone and then proceeding to talk in as loud a voice as you can. NO ONE (and I mean no one) is so important that they cannot be out of touch for an hour or so.

5. STOP putting your stuff in my overhead bin!

6. DON'T assume that everyone else is interested in your phone and/or business conversation. If you are talking to someone, try to keep it below a level where others are kept awake by your self-absorbed nonsense.

Everyone:

1. BOARD when your group/seat/row is called, and DO NOT stand around the door to the jetbridge so that no one else can board the aircraft. There is a reason that the airline places a seat number on your ticket; this is so everyone HAS a seat. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceptions, OK?

2. Try to at least dress like you are traveling and not about to attend a National Homeless Convention. I know, I am being incredibly insensitive here, but there is nothing worse than being smashed into a seat next to a person who looks and smells like they have not seen a good bar of soap for a week or more. Its not cool; YOU STINK, so have some courtesy here. Also. women, could you at least put on enough clothing that you don't make the poor man sitting in the seat next to you so self-consious that he is uncomfortable the entire trip! Yes, the younger men (and many of the older) may find it stimulating, but those of us who are happily married, and simply wanting to get from point A to point B find it uncomfortable. If you want to dress inappropriately, wait til you land, and can do it where I am not sitting 8-10 inches from you! Also, both sexes: Lay off the perfume/cologne. There is nothing that is more painful than to be sitting next to someone who put their perfume on with a paintbrush!

3. GET OUT of the way when boarding the plane. Get to your seat and get out of the way! Why is it that everyone has to straighten out their seat, comb their hair, and ensure their bag is neatly packed while everyone else waits behind them?

4. TURN DOWN or OFF your PC speakers; better yet, get headphones.

5. If you cannot lift your bag into the overhead bin, then you should check it. STOP making everyone else feel obligated to help you lift the sixty pound behemoth that you packed into the overhead. Exceptions: Wives, if your husbands lift the bag into the bin, that is fine. If size, diability or age prevent you from being able to do so, then have an attendent help you. Otherwise, pack what you can carry, and carry what you pack!

6. TURN OFF all annoying ring tones that constantly go off as everyone is waiting to get off the plane.

7. AND, upon arriving at the gate, let the pilot turn off the 'Fasten Seat Belt' sign BEFORE you knock over the old woman in the row across from you, scrambling to ensure that you are off the place before everyone else. Also, sit on your butt if you know that others are trying to catch a connecting flight and you are at your destination!

There they are; a few suggestions/comments that will make traveling better for us all... Thanks, your traveling buddy, Ray!

6 comments:

Ryan said...

Genius, absolute genius!

Charles North said...

Wow. That's gold Ray. It's even worse on the 10 hour long-haul flights. On my last BA flight, someone got the bright idea of letting all the 10-year-olds on the flight serve the dinner!

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan said...

did you have bubble and squeak or toad in the hole?

jon.marq said...

ray, that was great! really hilarious observations. i have four kids and our rule is: if you can't carry we can't take it.

Ray said...

jon-marq,

How wonderful to hear from you!

Welcome to my blog!