Not all travelers are created equal and you don’t need to be a frequent traveler to figure that one out. Just standing in a security line once in your life is all you’ll ever need. It’s immensely painful. Look, I get it, we’re not all regular travelers and I do have some sympathy for those that don’t know the rules. At the same time, common sense can go a LONG way. It would take many hours and many glasses of something good to properly articulate my feelings toward the fascinatingly clueless passengers I encounter every single time I fly, however, I figured an opportunity to touch upon the subject might bring some clarity, hilarity or shame…

a woman in a fur coat

The Security Strip

For f**k sake, we’re at an airport, not a fashion runway. A security checkpoint is the only thing standing between me and a lounge full of peace and alcohol. You don’t want to stand in the way of that. I do not want to wait for you to realize, as if it’s the first time ever, that you must remove your belt, your seven layers of jackets and ironic t-shirts, wigs, platform heels, seven chains and whatever other ridiculous metallic objects you are wearing. Dress like a stripper, have your belt off, have your liquid goods in a plastic bag, get your laptop somewhere easy to pull from your carry on and get a move on. Otherwise you might end up with one of my platform shoes lodged in your backside. 

a group of people standing in a line

The Gate Area Is Not Noah’s Arc…

In biblical lore Noah built an Arc and anyone not on it in time died. I can understand why people would cue up incessantly for such an occasion. The gate area for your flight however is not the arc. You will be boarded. Don’t worry. Sit down, shut up, listen to the person trying to make announcements and realize that unless you have a title with an airline resembling a precious stone, element or metal like gold, silver, platinum or diamond and or have a ticket that says business or first, you most likely have quite a while to sit. When it is your turn to fly up front, you won’t want to have to squeeze past and push through you either. Just stay near the boarding gate, not the actual door, you’ll make the plane, I promise. 

a man sitting on a bench with a laptop

Carry On? Packing For The Apocalypse.

Yoga mat and oversized backpack?! Can I get an amen on this one? No one likes paying for checked bags, I get it, but damn you, damn you, damn you for holding up the boarding line, taking all the overhead bins and causing general chaos in the boarding process. Airlines make it crystal just exactly how large and heavy your bag (notice the singular) can be. Bring a laptop bag and a small roller, no problem. Bring your hippy backpacking gear, code breaking laptop hard case, roller and neck pillow on and I just might chase you down the aisle. Please, for the sake of all things travel pack less sh*t or check a bag in. 

a group of people on an airplane

I DO NOT Want To Hear Your On Board Phone Call…

I for one get truly excited upon boarding an aircraft. I mean, seriously, we’re about to take flight. It’s a modern marvel in itself. Hearing my seat mate yap endlessly on the phone about nothing of any importance really kills that excitement. Sometimes I need to contact a pick up or place a quick call too, I use my inside voice and keep it very very short. If you are one who likes to inform their entire contact list that you’re aboard an airplane and you have nothing else of value to say, please take your phone, place it in your blender and press “blitz”. You’re doing yourself and everyone around you a favor. 

a sign in a building

Slow Traffic To The Side We’ve Got Connections To Make.

I hate waiting in line. I really do. I go to great lengths to be first in an immigration or customs line. I literally lace up my Nikes while we taxi to the gate. Whether you’re walking to the gate or walking to immigration, there’s a great chance that someone in the airport is in a hurry. Their reason does not matter. If you want to pull out your selfie stick and snap yourself in front of every bottle at Duty Free, be sure to keep to the side or give way to passengers who are in a hurry. Though I’m running for vanity reasons like avoiding waiting in line, others are making connecting flights to life changing opportunities or pressing engagements. 

a plane flying over a city

There’s no rocket science here. It’s almost entirely common courtesy. I suppose that in its essence is why travel is so frustrating. It’s as if we forget all our mothers ever taught us. If you are new to travel just do your best to take the obnoxiously large overpriced headphones off your ears and listen. If you hear “we are now boarding zone X” and you are in zone X, it means you can board. If it does not, stay out of the way or I will steamroll you. 

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. Agreed on all of these – and I have another – a plane is not your private area. Please do not cut your nails – fingers or feet! PLEASE!!

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