Sh*t You Shouldn’t Do At The Airport (And A Mea Culpa From Me)

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My husband and I right before we boarded a flight to Dallas. If he looks irritated it is because he was. See #2.

Quick note: When I started this blog I swore I would be “all over that sh*t,” as in I would blog all the time. I would share new posts at least twice a week, before long I would have a following, maybe even some ads that would pay for my Lip Smacker addiction. Heck, maybe if I kept at it long enough it could turn into a part-time job versus just an outlet to simply rant and keep active with my writing. Well… the best way to make God/Buddha/The Universe laugh is to share your plans, right? I failed! Life got in the way and I fell off track. My grandmother went into the hospital (she is healthy and home now), I went on a few trips and I just became overwhelmed with my job search (it sucks – it is hard to find a job right now and I started to feel like a loser) and I doubted if I would have anything worthy to say or if anyone would want to read it. So I lapsed. I stopped writing. And that’s why there have been no new posts on my blog for more than a month.

But I reminded myself that I don’t write for anyone, I write for myself. And even if no one but my mother (hey, mom!) reads this, WHO CARES. I love to write. It is a wonderful outlet, not to mention I always feel better after I blurt out my thoughts and bitch about life. So that’s what I am going to continue to do. Forgive the lapse, I’m human and have doubts. And thank you for continuing to read.

And NOW… here is today’s blog!

I am not unique in saying that I love to travel. I am, however, lucky in that I have been able to do so fairly often and am, in my humble opinion, pretty skilled at getting myself around the world. I think moving to and traveling around a foreign country with my family as a child had a lot to do with it… you just learn to roll with it. I’ve been stranded in airports, lost and alone in the French countryside and stayed in a Jamaican hotel room that shared a wall with a by-the-hour “woman of the night” who was very vocal and, given her continuous shout-outs to God, quite religious. So getting on and off a plane and moving through an airport is something I do on auto pilot (no pun intended). YET… for some reason whenever I fly it seems to coincide with the same day hundreds of people take their first flight, or so one would believe based on their actions. It’s not that hard.

As a public service, here is my list of air travel pet peeves… let’s all take note and avoid doing them. It’s just that simple! Tell a friend, enlighten a co-worker… if we all spread the word maybe we can look forward to happy, harmonious and less moronic days of travel ahead.

  1. Standing up the second the plane reaches the gate will NOT get you off any faster. In fact, this can even slow things down. You know this move… people immediately get out of their seats to stand in the aisle. Why? Consider the fact that there isn’t room for everyone to stand there. And in general, when people disembark from an airplane they do so in a “row by row” manner so you aren’t going to be able to leapfrog your turn by clogging the aisle. Quite the opposite, you are actually making it more challenging for people who need to remove items from the overhead bins because YOU ARE IN THE WAY. On one flight I was in the aisle seat, as usual, and the person next to me asked me to get up and let him out. But I couldn’t stand up, there was nowhere to go because the aisle was full of people already. “Where do you want me to go?” I asked. “In the aisle,” he said. “I want to get out.” “The aisle is full, I couldn’t stand there if I wanted to, and the door hasn’t even been opened yet. They JUST announced we would be here for five more minutes,” I reasoned. “Do you want to sit on my lap? That is about as close to the aisle as you are going to get.” He just glared at me yet didn’t have an answer. I wasn’t being bratty, I really wanted to know where he thought I was going to go.
  2. You Are (Most Likely) Not A VIP, So Stop Acting Like One. This one, ugh. If you are flying first class you can have your own check-in line. If you have been cleared for TSA you can breeze through security, and rightly so on both cases. I get it. But ultimately we are ALL going to be sitting in the same cylinder up in the sky, regardless of where and how large our seats may be. And announcing that you are a first class passenger? No, that won’t let you cut in line ahead of me at the Sky Cap. Yelling that you deserve double the overhead space because you paid more for your ticket? It just makes you sounds like an asshole. Know the limits of your premiere status and first class tickets. A special seat? Yes. A better check-in line? Sure. Being able to act like a superior jerk? No. Just no.
  3. Clogging the jetway and walking on my heels. The jetway, sky bridge, air bridge, jet bridge, et al. That little thing you walk through from the gate to the airplane. Guess
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    Semi-empty jetway. Because I wait for most people to board the plane so I don’t have to be treated like walking human soup.

    what? We are all going to the same place. And the airplane is not going to take off while we are walking through it. So don’t try to run or get anxious and walk up on my heels while obliterating every inch of my already-compromised personal space. Calm the fu*k down. Personally, unless I am flying first class I don’t even bother getting on the plane until the bulk of the passengers have boarded because you just get stuck in there, not moving. On a recent flight I was walking along and a man ran up behind me and starting huffing and puffing and muttered “walk slower, lady.” Oh reallllllly? I sure did stop dead in my tracks, tap my husband on the shoulder and said, “honey, let’s step aside and let this gentleman through. He is obviously in a big hurry and his time means more than ours.” And okay, maybe my husband was mortified and the man was incredibly pissed off judging by his face, but he backed the eff off my heels and apologized. Job done.

  4. Acting Like The Overhead Bin Is Your Own Personal Closet. I am not a good packer. In fact, I once took three giant suitcases to Maui – two full of clothes and one empty to carry home souvenirs (sorry again to my dear friend Stevie who had to lug them around for me!). So the idea of packing a carry on bag blows my mind. Sure, a carry on in addition to a checked bag makes sense. But only a carry on? Impossible. I usually take one large purse and check my bag. I get that many people don’t do that and understand the convenience of traveling with only carry on baggage when done correctly. But let’s talk about the people with two carry on suitcases, or one that really should have been checked. Many times I haven’t been able to put my one small bag in the overhead because it is filled with items that look like they would be better suited for a freight train’s cargo bin. I’m really sorry, but if you want to take three week’s worth of clothing with you please get to the airport a bit earlier and check your damn bag!
  5. Behaving Like The Airplane Is Your Home. It’s your flight and we are just on it, right? My Harry Potter knowledge is a bit fuzzy… I know there is a cloak of invisibility, did it activate when people sat down on an a airplane? Because that is how some people behave. Guess what… we can see you, we can hear you, we can smell you. This is not your private area to do as you please. I have been subject to the following during air travel: a man tweezing his ears and inspecting each hair before flicking it into the aisle, a woman filing and painting her nails, a couple discussing the man’s recent herpes diagnosis, stinky feet (guess what… if your feet smell at home than they will smell on the airplane, please keep your shoes on), a woman who vomited three times into her barf bag and refused to go to the bathroom because “it smells in there,” another woman changing her child’s diarrhea-filled diaper on her lap because “the bathroom is too small,” and jeez, I can’t even remember the rest.
  6. Letting Your Child Have “A Moment.” Really, it’s super adorable that your little girl has her very own suitcase that looks like the characters from “Frozen” threw up all over it. And how cute that she can wheel it behind her just like a grownup… but she’s a kid… so it’s sooooo stinking cute! But when we are all trying to get off the airplane and she can’t quite maneuver it down the aisle don’t let the 74 people behind you wait because you think, as you told the flight attendant, that “Kennedy needs to feel independent.” Maybe you and Kennedy can explore her independence at another time, I just now finally got past the jerks standing in the aisle (#1) and my bladder is about to burst because I had to move to a middle seat because another parent didn’t plan out their air travel in advance (#9). So please, on behalf of your fellow passengers, help Kennedy with her bag so we can all get off this plane.
  7. Including The Entire Gate On Your Phone Conversation. Sure, I have made phone calls and sent emails while sitting at the gate. But I use my indoor voice. I can’t stand the people who are on their phone, screaming as if the country will go to ruin if the person on the other line doesn’t check that massively important email you sent! Guess what… if you were that important you would be on Air Force One and wouldn’t be waiting at any gate, ever. But you’re not. You aren’t even in the club lounge. So calm the hell down and lower your voice.
  8. “Sitting Large” At The Gate. When my husband and I were first married he used to say that I would “sleep large,” meaning I would sleep diagonally across the bed and leave him no room. I was used to sleeping alone and I had to make a few adjustments. The same can be said for the seats at the gate. If it is somewhat empty feel free to sprawl out. But when the gate starts to fill up maybe you can remove that bag containing the remains of your McDonald’s breakfast from that seat next to you and let me sit down.
  9. Coveting – And Expecting Me To Give You – My Seat. Here’s the deal: I have a small bladder and massive anxiety. If I don’t have an aisle seat I will lose my shit. So what do I do? Just show up and expect someone to give me their seat because that’s what I want? No. I book an aisle seat. If there are no aisle seats available when I book my flight than I look for another flight. I actually have offered to switch seats for parents and small children who are separated (even though in my mind I like to think that I would NEVER book my child in a seat three rows away from me, but what do I know) but the people who ask me to switch seats so they can be near their friend? I’m sorry, I wish you had the foresight to book your seats together. So no thank you, I do not want the middle seat you are so kindly offering me. And you moaning and groaning and complaining during the entire 5+ hour flight from San Francisco to Miami will not change my mind.
  10. Not Being a Good Fellow Human. I give up my seats on subways and buses. And I will help someone with their bags. But I am not all that big or strong, so when you see me struggling to help an elderly woman with her bag do you think that maybe you can put down your phone and pause that game of Candy Crush to help, sir? People are selfish and I remain committed to the thought that, for the most part, chivalry is dead. It makes me angry that I have either been a part of our directly witnessed a version of this scenario nearly every time I fly.
  11. Crowding the luggage carousel. I never understand this one. The bags come out on a conveyor and circle around. So stand anywhere, they will eventually reach you. If you are in a hurry go ahead and stand near the conveyor. But why do you need to STAND RIGHT UP AGAINST THE CAROUSEL IN A WALL SO PEOPLE CAN’T GET TO IT? Why? Whyyyyy? We can all stand around it. Near it. In the close vicinity. We don’t need to touch it. You can see your bag and walk up to the carousel as it moves near and grab it. Or, if you insist on standing so close that your knees touch the carousel and your bag is nowhere to be seen than maybe you wouldn’t mind moving just an inch while I am trying to retrieve my bag? Please? I don’t get it. I just. Don’t. Get. It.

Wow, I have a lot to complain about! And I am sure there are more than just these 11 items… expect a part 2 of this post as I recall even more things that bug the ever-loving crap out of me when I fly. What makes you crazy about air travel? Let’s bitch about it!


5 Comments

  1. Nancy Vieira
    Nancy VieiraReply
    November 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Brings back the flight from hell we last took to Maui! All those things you write about plus the plane being delayed by 3 hours because they didn’t have a clean one and needed a clean plane flown from LA! To appease us they gave out bottled water but we could get no where near to getting a bottle because people rushed them like they were giving out Channel handbags!!!

    • Becky
      November 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Remember the old man who had his shirt unbuttoned during that flight home from Maui? And he kept walking up and down the aisle…

  2. Elizabeth Alianell
    Elizabeth AlianellReply
    November 16, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Nailed it! And, to follow up on #3… If you were that fancy, you’d be flying private.

  3. Becky
    November 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Massive assholes. All of them.

  4. Christian
    May 16, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Hey Becky!
    My name is Christian. Im a new blogger and currently traveling for the first time. I have to say I’ve noticed and experienced all of tge above. I sit back and watch like a kid with their nose pressed to tge glass when I see an airport argument. People spitting cuss words at helpless check in attendants or the really crazy stuff like airport stalkers that follow you around asking to ‘Please “help” with your luggage, beautiful.’ I really enjoyed this post!
    Please check out my blog too whenever your wandering the interwebs lol.

    Thecurlybun.com

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