Dumb stuff, we all do it and there’s no better place to display it than at the airport. For most, the airport isn’t anyone’s natural habitat. You’ll come across more strangers than friends, you’ll be subjected to rules that you didn’t make and oh yeah, plan on waiting in line….. similar to your first day in Elementary school. Removing someone from their element or normal routine is the perfect opportunity to let dump stuff creep in. Below are a few tips to help you avoid doing dumb stuff at the airport.
- Forgetting where you parked -Simple task, remember where you parked. For some reason, jet fuel can erase the part of the brain associated with “Where the hell did I park?” A Google search reveals a handful of apps dedicated to just that task. I prefer to go old school, 2007 to be exact, and just take a picture of the sign with my phone. You can use this same tip for remembering your hotel room number. If you’re at a total loss, you can always press the panic button on your key fob and that echoing horn sound will lead you to your car.
- Not being aware of your surroundings – Basically believing it’s all about you. When you get to the end of the jetway don’t stop to extend the handle on your suitcase, or at the top of the escalator don’t stop in your tracks to look down at your phone. Here’s the reason, there’s a whole “S-Load” of people behind you that also want to get off the plane or escalator. Do everyone a favor, and take five steps to the right and get the hell out of the traffic pattern.
- Drinking through your layover – It is as sexy as it sounds; grabbing a drink between flights and making small talk with other travelers. Picture it, an olive delicately submerged just under the surface of your vodka martini. Airport drinking, as it should be, is expensive. Throw in the fact that you’re basically void of responsibility, makes it very easy to have that sixth $8.00 beer. In addition, my unscientific study has proven that being hammered while in a pressurized cabin at 30,000′ feet is a recipe for disaster or at least the need to use the lavatory 3 times during a two-hour flight.
- Not being ready for TSA – Be clear on TSA’s 3-1-1 security rule for flying with carry-on liquids (3.4 oz bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger). If you don’t have TSA Precheck and younger than 65 then plan to remove your shoes and belt. Hats and jackets go in the bin and empty your pockets….. that means empty. My biggest TSA pet peeve, not being aware of your surroundings, once you clear the body scanners get your belongings off the x-ray belt head over to the benches and repack there.
- Crowding the gate – No matter the airline you’re flying they all have some sort of a boarding procedure, be it an assigned seat or an assigned boarding group. For whatever reason people feel the need to crowd the gate area, it’s like a magnetic pull; Gate Agent – We will begin to board “Group A”, “Group A Only”. Everyone in the B & C Group – Hurry, that’s our signal to head to the gate and block everyone in Group A.
- Crowding baggage claim – Question, why are you checking your bags? Remember, there are two types of luggage, carry-on and lost. Standing mere inches from the luggage conveyor belt will not make your luggage appear any faster and it blocks everyone else from grabbing their luggage because their luggage arrived before yours.
- Being the loud talker – You know who you are, but for some reason, you feel the need to talk to your Boo at the same decibel level of a Who concert; find a corner or a vacant bathroom stall.
- Taking an early morning Monday flight – This only affects you and your mental state. The reason the first flight out is called the “suicide flight” is because more than likely your pilot is sleepy just like you are. Airports are hell, especially on Monday morning at 6:00 AM
The airport is easily one of the best places for observing people doing dumb stuff. Do yourself a favor the next time you fly and arrive 30 minutes early, then spend the extra time people watching, I promise you’ll be amazed at what you see.