Air travel today is public transportation, no longer the elite experience of yore. What follows are my observations about rude or efficient practices on these ‘chicken carrier’ buses.
Travel light. Baggage handlers have been reduced, checking your luggage increases your chances of loss or delay.Be prepared. Keep essentials and 2-3 days of supplies in your carry on.
Security. Have your passport and boarding pass out for security. Put them away. Prepare to load your shoes, metal ornaments, and stuff into travels. Have your computer and liquids handy for separate trays.
TSA. Get over the pat-down. You should be so lucky. Most of these folks are earning minimum wage, they work extremely stressful jobs trying to keep us safe from bombs. I’ve never had a rude TSA agent. Never. Lots of rude fellow passengers. What’s your problem? Feeling inadequate and taking it out on service personnel?
Move on through. Put your belt and stuff back on OUTSIDE the line. Please.
Now you’re on the plane (after pushing your way to the head of the line, and generally blocking the boarding of people in a lower zone than you—get over that, too, it won’t get you there earlier, or to a different seat). Don’t kick (or let your kids kick), shut off your phone, and if you must talk business, LOWER YOUR VOICE. The rest of us don’t care how important you are. Or about your patient’s colonoscopy, or your important meeting (for real).
Nowadays a whole tirade about being able to (entitled to) as much space as you can has broken out. People are slow to catch on to the cattle car reality (see below, Guys and Gals). But putting your seat back sticks your head in someone else’s mouth. Realy.
Guys. Men feel entitled to take up space, women tie themselves into to knots to avoid the unwanted touch. Guys, remember your male privilege. Wrap it up. Keep your legs, elbows and voice out of my space. I just want to take a nap.
Gals. Air travel is a good, a very good, place to let go of the perfume. Remember. If I can smell it, I’m too close to turn back.
Deplaning. We’ve gotten through the flight and are deplaning. Here is where normal, nice humans turn into snarling animals. Remember the rules from kindergarten. Stand in line. Let those in front of you out. You aren’t going to get out more than a minute or so ahead of the others, and even so…where’s the fun of that?
EXCEPTION: passengers on a late flight with a connection. If you don’t have a connection, chill and let them out.
Remember (from above), air travel is public transportation, you aren’t privileged because you’re on a packed plane, you’re cattle.
Cell Phones. Remember that the rest of us can hear your conversations and we don’t want to hear your orders for a colonoscopy for some patient (neither does your patient want us to hear). *See number (7) above–I just want to take a nap.