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Recorded January 14, 2020 in the beautiful Marriott Courtyard Albany, NY.
Last week was my first trip of the decade, a road trip, to Atlanta and back. Had lunch at the Georgia Diner in Duluth always which always serves something tasty. For you, Florida travelers on a road trip remember that the Georgia toll roads recognize the Florida SunPass, which is very handy on I-75 south of the airport. Be aware that the I-85 toll lanes are very similar to Uber surge pricing meaning that the toll fluctuates due to the amount of traffic on the road. Where the Florida turnpike tolls are static in Georgia they fluctuate.
Something interesting that I saw over the weekend had to do with old luggage, which there seems to be a huge amount of after the holidays. Typically we’ll donate it to Goodwill, but I saw where donating it to foster shelters is far more beneficial as often time these kids are moved from home to home with all of their belongings in nothing more than a trash bag.
Earlier this week I was flying out of Orlando and there was a huge back up going through the TSA scanners, even in the pre-check lines were moving slow. The gentleman in front of me mumbled something about dumb people, and I thought not really dumb, but doing dumb things. Which reminded me of a post from 2018, and it’s worthy of discussing again.
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. With Southwest if you’re not A-List and aren’t able to electronically check-in 24 hours before your flight you can “buy” your way into the A-Group boarding when you purchase your ticket. For $25.00 each way you will get to be one of the first 60 people onboard first, no worrying about checking in. We do this whenever Jackie flies with me, well worth the $50.00
- Crowding baggage claim – Question, why are you checking your bags? Remember, there are two types of luggage, carry-on and lost. Just kidding, but resist the urge to check your bags. 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 let everyone else know who you are. Why are you talking to your Boo at the same decibel level of a Who concert; find a corner or a vacant bathroom stall. Also take them off speaker and walking through the airport while using Facetime is just stupid.
- 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 that more than likely your pilot is sleepy just like you are. Airports are hell, especially on Monday morning at 6:00 AM. I know I don’t sleep very well when I know I have to wake up at 4:00 AM for a 6:00 AM flight.
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.
So what dumb things are you or a loved one doing in the airport? Feel free to leave a voicemail at Anchor or a comment at Hypeamerica.com.
There you have it, thanks for listening, safe travels and have a great day!
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