Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Airport woes Pt 1

So obviously I travel, a lot. I travel so much that in the last four years I've earned enough miles for five free round-trip domestic airline tickets and countless first class upgrades. Most of that travel occurs December through April.

I am intimately familiar with many airports in this country. (Here's a free travel tip for you: There's a "secret" security gate at the Detroit airport that never has a line. It connects the W to the rest of the terminal. Use this information wisely.) I am also intimately familiar with the travel habits of the American public. It's not any better in the airport than at the auto show; the only difference is that people aren't asking me stupid questions.

My biggest annoyance at the airport isn't check-in or security lines (my frequent flier status usually allows me to bypass them), having to take my shoes off or flight delays (I've actually been really lucky in that department, knock on wood).

No, my friends, it is the people mover that is my nemesis.

Well not the people mover itself, but the people ON the people mover. People who apparently cannot read the six signs along the way that say "Stand to the right, walk on the left." That are written in at least two languages, often three.

I'm so glad you have all day to lollygag around and get in other people's way, but some of us have things to do. Things like, oh, I don't know, catch our flights maybe? Since we're here at the airport and all? There are a dozen people trying to get by you and you barely budge from the middle of the mover, throwing shade at those of us who actually read the sign and are following the rules of people mover traffic.

Then there are the people who are actually following the letter of the law by standing on the right, but their suitcase is totally blocking the left side. More shade throwing when you say "Excuse me."

You are not Supreme Leader of the Airport. You don't get to inconvenience everyone else because you're oblivious and lazy.  Move over or I'll run you over. I've done it before and I'll do it again. If you don't move over after I've asked you politely (multiple times even!) then you're probably going to get whacked by one of my bags as I move past you anyway. Not on purpose, but that's what you get for not following the rules of the people mover.

Yet another example of Special Little Snowflake Syndrome in action.

PS - Check out my column this week over at TheTruthAboutCars.com!


  1. When I see slow-moving traffic on the people mover, I'll often skip it and walk alongside. The looks I get from the people I pass are amazing. They can't imagine why someone would choose to walk instead of just standing still - let alone actually walk on the people mover to go even faster.

    I often take the stairs instead of escalators for the same reason.

  2. OMG!!! how true this is, wish this blog would go to usa today or maybe go on some morning show so people would MAYBE get the message and somehow LEARN what their doing wrong. ran into this too many times to count when i did set up for the auto shows.

  3. Interesting thing is, we're all guilty of acting like special little snowflakes--even after we've long since grown past the age of 5 and that quaint notion of uniqueness has had ample opportunity to be proved false--and never more so than in public institutions that, in the name of efficiency, tend to make us feel more like a number than an individual. It's like a little rebellion:

    "Make me stand in queue and read signs and schlep through temporary stanchion mazes and take numbers and follow rules and have my shit together?! How dare you treat me like everyone else? Don't you know I'm special? Can't you see I'm not like everyone else? Acknowledge my nifty hairdo, clever t-shirt, cunning use of cleavage, expensive bit of technology hanging out of/stuck to my ear, trendy shoes, foreign language tattoo(s) and other such examples of my unique identity!"

    But no one (outside of nutjobs, Johnny Depp and Ted Kaczynski) have the moxie to actually scream that, so instead we pull half-assed, little "stands" wherein we inconvenience others by mildly bending rules while avoiding eye contact. We're a silly lot.

  4. It's times like this where it should be socially acceptable to be use an air horn in public.

  5. I was standing on one of these today and a thought occurred to me: Escalators and people movers could easily be designed to give a nudge to the people who don't get it.

    All that's needed is a pressure sensitive switch to trigger an audio recording and LED lighting in the grooves on the left side.

    If the segment of the walkway has more than 50 pounds of pressure for 4-5 continuous seconds at a time, it can light up brightly in red. A recorded announcement can then start playing saying something polite but firm to the effect of "step aside, buddy" in several different languages.

    Of course, the segments immediately behind the offender, obviously occupied by the people he/she has inconvenienced would not light-up.


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