“From the time I have children I am not traveling until they can carry their own baggage.” [him]
“Pack AND carry their own baggage. Then if they forget their swimsuits it can be their fault, not mine” [me]
Lines snaked back and forth behind the check-in counters at the Cali airport. The first day of Christmas vacation and here we are, awake at the ridiculous hour of 6:00 AM and already standing in line no less. My fellow Minnesotan teacher friend Stetson and I wait in the line at American Airlines to begin the long journey home.
After a ten-minute observation of some of our fellow passengers I felt that indignant feeling inside me. It always begins with an observation of something small, like the person who stops in the middle of the aisle to look up flight information with no regard for people walking behind him or her. The feeling grows when I witness the family of fifteen, (sometimes I exaggerate in stories when I get frustrated), check in together with approximately 11 pieces of luggage apiece. After some initial observations I remarked to Stetson that infrequent or incapable travelers should have their own lines at airports at all times.
We had no idea how useful the idea would be throughout the day. After fourteen hours of travel, we’re kind of like experts on the topic so without further ado, we present:
Kristin & Stetson’s Criteria for Landing Yourself Immediately In The “Other” Line/Section At the Airport
- You arrive at the check-in point to go through security. Where is your passport or identification? In the bottom of your purse or jacket? At the check-in counter? Still in your wallet? Go to the other line.
- You made the metal detector beep. Weird, except you’re still wearing your belt, shoes, watch and you have coins in your pocket. Go to the other line.
- Standing in the long line at Starbucks? Figure out what you want before you get to the front of the line. It’s airport, everyone has a place to be so get moving. Bonus points if you get your wallet out in advance too.
- Your laptop computer has always had to go in a separate bin to go through security. No, you cannot throw your jacket on top of it. It must go alone. If you think this rule has changed since the last time you were here go to the other line.
- Yes, please ask 20 bajillion (exaggeration, told you.) questions to the security guards about what you need to do when going through security. If you refuse to read the handy sings posted pretty much everywhere, go to the other line.
- Can’t find your gate? Look for one of the helpful TV screens to direct you. Wait – are you standing in the middle of the aisle? Are other travelers scurrying to get around you and then turning back with the evil eye? Go to the other line/section of the airport.
- You arrived at the airport an hour after everyone else on your flight. Hurrying to get on the plane since you did not allow enough time, you abruptly cut in line in front of other, more-prepared passengers. Go to the other line.
- You are under the age of 18 and/or may make any noise on the plane above the level of a normal human voice. This including screaming children, loud-speaking women and men who yell to be heard. Go to the other plane.
- The plane is at the gate. Everyone is excited you have reached the destination. Are you standing in the aisle organizing your things? Quick, check the front of the plane. Is it empty? You are holding up literally everyone (no exaggeration) behind you. Please go to the other plane.
In summary, if at any point you find yourself doing any of these things or thinking about doing any of these things please find another line, plane, airport or means of travel. And definitely don’t travel with Stetson and me.