"Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff?" - Stephen Wright
I flew to Minnesota yesterday for work, in and out in the same day. Traveling like that, for work, having to think and be "on" is not for the lighthearted. I applaud people who do it everyday and I'm thankful I'm not one of them. I am, however, a pretty savy traveler and I thought of some suggestions to help those who seem to bumble through to make the whole process a little easier for all of us.
1. Wear easy shoes to remove - Ladies, I love my shoes. I understand the delima. They must be cute, fashionable and complete my outfit. Unless I'm traveling. Then there are only two options: my danskos or merrels. Both are easy to slip on and off and I can walk easily in them. High Boots that must be wrestled off and on are a NO-NO sista friend.
2. Have your boarding pass and ID out and ready - they tell you this 15 times before you get to the little security dude. You hear it ad naseum.... and why is that? Because there's always some one too important to be considerate of others' time. When you arrive at the airport, take it out of your wallet/purse/money clip and keep it in your hands. Pack so that you don't have 8 things to carry in your hand to prevent this.
3. Pack smarter people - smaller bags and no tolietries. I don't know home many people are on an average flight but I DO KNOW that no all of us can carry a rollerboard on the plane. I agree the airlines are cheap bastards for charging for bags in an effort to encourage less baggage in the cargo hold only to require you to check at the gate but if we all packed smaller bags, less is more here people. Backpacks, duffle bags and messanger bags will all fit under the seat in front of you. Briefcases too. Don't put them in the over head bins unless it's absolutely necessary.
4. Take a chill pill. I have to do this alot myself, take a deep breath and remind myself to chill as I travel. Remind myself to be patient and let the line or person move at their pace. Especially when it comes to traveling, me pushing my way through a line or crowd generally makes no difference. If you have made it to your gate area and are certain to board the plane, then your pushiness will not save any more time. (Notice I said pushiness - I appreciate people who move conservatively and don't cause delay but rudeness isn't necessary).
5. Push off your seat - Don't PULL ON MINE. This is quite easy and it AMAZES me other people haven't figured it out. When getting up for whatever reason, push off your seat instead of pulling up on the seat in front of you. I know most people don't mean to disturb others but plane seats aren't stable so grabbing them moves the seat and those around it. Little kids kicking your seat is one thing but a grown adult pulling my chair drives me nuts.
6. Be NICE. Smile and treat the airport employees with courtesy. They have thankless jobs and they are not trying to prevent you from getting where you need to be. Weather, traffic and other unpreventable problems are NOT their fault. Be polite, yet firm when trying to get their help. Yelling, Being Rude and/or Insulting the customer service representatives will get you no where fast.
Just my thoughts... if everyone just takes a deep breathe and smiles, all will be better.