One of my biggest frustrations about the glory’s of traveling, is unfortunately, other travelers! I understand, in many instances, the traveler is just not well versed on airports or travel, or, they are just plain rude. For the latter, I can do very little, but for the inexperienced, I have a few tips! Either in the airport, or at tourist attractions, many times I find people being what seems like they are inconsiderate and “cogging” up lines, as if they don’t care. After thinking about it, I realized many people are nervous and don’t know really what to do! Here are a few pointers.
The main skill needed in all of this is common sense, and common courtesy! Even if you are lost in the airport, or nervous or confused, realize your in a public place with people around you! I always hate it when people stop right in front of me and 200 other people, or stand on an escalator or moving walkway on the left. Just be aware of your surroundings at all times, move to the side and regather your thoughts if you need to.
When your at the airport, like I said before, always remember your not alone! There are many people rushing to planes, and connections, and have no time to wait for you to cog things up! Always look over your shoulder and for heavens sakes, KEEP MOVING! Most airports, even foreign ones have common signage, and if you just look, you can find your way! For example, there are usually universal signs for the bathroom, luggage claim, airline lounges, and exits. Keep in mind , these may vary slightly from place to place but in general they are all very similar.
Escalators and Moving Walkways
It’s VERY SIMPLE, in every situation, and especially at airports, you ALWASY stand on the RIGHT and walk on the LEFT. If you plan to ride and not walk, ALWAYS move yourself and your luggage over to allow people to move past you on the left. Remember, you may have plenty of time, but someone behind you may have literally 2 minutes to make a plane before they shut the door, and being able to run up the stairs may make the difference.
Its a very easy thing you should do every time. I always do it even if I am the only one, because I may get on my phone and zone off and someone runs up and I dont see them. Just get in the habbit of doing it! It helps alot! There is a caveat to this, some countries, only a few, do this in reverse, stand on left , walk on right. There will be signs, but in vernal it’s the other way around.
First of all, you can read all the rules for TSA and airport sepcific rules by going to any number of webites. There is no rerason anymore to not have knwlege. If you are able to read this blog, you can go to the TSA site HERE.
The Boarding Gate
I recently wrote an article about Delta’s new boarding procedure, here. In general, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes time to board.
You will most always have a zone or boarding number on your boarding pass. Each airline calls it a different thing, but generally it is easy to find. You can always go the the airlines website that you are flying beforehand and familiarize yourself with their boarding procedure.
With this information known , you can lineup in the appropriate place, and make boarding much smoother.
If you want to avoid a huge cluster at the gate, and make things easier on everyone, familiarize yourself with this procedures. Again, I wrote about Delta’s NEW procedure HERE.
Everyone knows that getting on and off the plane is a huge headache and everyone wants to board and disembark as fast as possible. This is very doable, but you have to play your part.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Before you get in the airplane door, get your luggage situated so you can easily go down the aisle without hanging up on the seats or other people. Some rolling suitcases need to be turned sideways or picked up, as they are too wide to easily go down the aisle.
- If you have a backpack or a big purse slung over you, remember, when you turn to the side, you are probably whopping someone upside the head. Again, remember, you are not the only person there. I always put my things in FRONT of me, that way I have better control.
- When you reach your seat, always TRY to step inside your seat and allow people to p[ass while you get your stuff situated and ready to put up in there overhead bins, etc. This allows people to pass that are setting behind you, and speeding up the process. (you may not care for them, but you do if you are the one waiting to get to your seat because some fool is piddling around in the aisle.)
- Always look at what side of the overhead bins are bigger or smaller and put your luggage in accordingly. Some airplanes have bigger bins on one side, and smaller on the other, so obviously don’t try to force something in if the other side is bigger.
- You can usually put backpacks and smaller items UNDER your seat, saving space for other passengers in the overhead. The flight attendants always say this during boarding but people do not pay attention.
- KNOW THIS. If you are seated in 38D, for example, you do not need to stop at the beginning of the plane and start looking for your seat, as 99.99999% of planes start at 1 and go down the further you walk. I always get aggravated when I see someone that is holding a boarding pass with a really high number start looking for their seat as soon as they board.
- ALSO, remember that USUALLY , as your boarding, A is always on your right hand side as your boarding, and goes B, C,D, E, etc towards to left (as your facing the back of the plane boarding) If you have 33A, you know that you will be towards the middle , or back of there plane on your right hand side. If you have 33F, then chinches are, again, you are towards the back on the left side. Depending on the type of plane, sometimes they skip letters, but they are always still IN ORDER with A ALWAYS on the right side (facing back as you are boarding).
- After you get situated, for heavens sake, please put your seatbelt on, and make sure your seat is in the upright position. Doing this will help out the flight attendants and make sure the departure time is on time.
- When they announce that the boarding door is closed , you must ALWAYS, for sure GET OFF THE PHONE! They say to turn it on airplane mode, well this is up to you as most don’t, but for for people to keep chatting away is just RUDE, and makes things go slower for everyone!
- Federal regulations in the US states (or so they say) that you must use the restrooms in your own cabin. So unless you’re IN first class, you are not to use that bathroom. Obviously if the serving cart in in the aisle and you cannot get to the restroom in the back, then they usually don’t care, but this is the way it should be. If you want to occupy the first class bathroom you should buy a first class ticket, or get status with an airline in order to get upgraded.
I know this article may sound curt and to the point, but it’s meant to be. I want people to realize , that with a little common sense and research you can make YOUR travel experience more enjoyable as well as your fellow travelers. Its aggravating to see people complain about airlines leaving late, or this or that, yet that person is NOT playing their part to make things go smoothly! Remember, you still have a role to playa and the airlines cannot hold your hand (unless you’re an unaccompanied minor).
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE, TRAVEL MORE!