Call me crazy, but I genuinely enjoy an airport experience. Honestly, if you budget your time well, what’s not to like? Get there early, go through security stress free, park yourself at the bar to get your buzz and snack on before boarding. Boom. Easy…
…most of the time.
It’s a good idea in theory, but unfortunately for most, airports are a frenetic mess of neuroses and paranoia causing otherwise intelligent individuals to turn into bumbling, confused morons. Here is a look at some of the worst airport behavior. If you are a culprit, you have been warned.
1. Security Sh*t-Storm
This encompasses a myriad of behaviors, none of which will come as a surprise to most travelers. What in theory is a simple concept becomes a harried nightmare. The plan is simple: 1. Grab bin. 2. Remove shoes, outerwear, laptop and metal from your person. 3. Proceed through metal detector. 4. Grab your belongings and move on. It’s your basic assembly line mentality, and one that is uniform across all airports. But somehow, that guy leaves his iPad in its case, the fashionista is wearing shoes with padlocks that take forever to remove, and the little old couple couple doesn’t realize that belt buckles are made of metal. All of this said, the number one issue on a security line is the guy (or gal) who puts all of their belongings back together without moving aside, causing a backup through the metal detector of epic proportions. Please be kind and remove your bins to dress yourself at one of the numerous benches provided outside the screening area.
2. The Moving Walkway Controversy
I have nothing against the lazy. I am the lazy. But if you feel the need to stand on the moving walkway…I just don’t know how to deal with you. I understand that it may feel luxurious to begin your vacation at the airport, but seriously. Have a cocktail. Spring for the business lounge. If you need to stand still on a flat surface and be transported Aladdin/Magic Carpet-style across a 50-foot stretch, I will judge, mock and wish heavy delays upon you.
3. Respect the Zone
I know many of you feel that boarding with your designated zone is too much like living in a dictatorship. We’re all going to the same place, right? What’s the big deal? I’ll tell you. When people board outside of their designated zones, the overhead space fills up. When it comes time for those to board who actually waited until the appropriate point, there is suddenly no more overhead space and those that specifically packed carry-on luggage are forced to check their bags. Having said that, if you have already checked your bags then go ahead. You cut that line. You won’t hear a peep out of me.
4. A Solitary Activity
Is anyone else nervous when waiting to see who they are sitting next to on a flight? Do you wait with a strange anticipation to find out if the seat next to you will be occupied by the attractive, young stranger or the chatty elderly woman with a small phonebook of grandchildren? For me it’s always intriguing to see who I will be sharing the journey with. But that doesn’t mean I want to talk to whoever sits down next to me. I’ll make due with the pleasant “Hi, how are you?” with a nice smile. But beyond that, there’s no need for chitchat. Sometimes it works out well (like that time I sat next to NHL rookie Ian Cole). Other times…not so much (I’m thinking of you drunk business man with two failed marriages dating the “hot” Latina woman, whose picture you could not resist showing me multiple times). The bottom line: there’s no need to make new friends. In the words of the great, late Patrick Swayze in the classic film Dirty Dancing, “This is my dance space, this is yours.”
5. Aisle Denial
Undeniably the best seat in the house, the aisle seat comes with responsibility. It’s not all stretched legs and easy bathroom access. That guy next to you gazing out the window, marveling at how farmland can be so geometric will inevitably have to go to the bathroom as well. If you take the aisle seat and go to sleep immediately after take off, you will be interrupted at some point during the flight. Unfortunately, you just have to be okay with this. Grumbling is not an option. You are on the aisle seat. You are the gatekeeper. If beauty sleep is more important to you, forgo that leg room, my friend.