- Walk left; stand right. If you know nothing of anything in this world, you should at least learn this lesson, because it applies wherever there are things moving at different speeds. Moving walkways? Don't stand next to your companion; stand in front of or behind her. Escalators? Pull your wheeled suitcase behind you, and let the hurrying people pass. This means you, people blocking both of the long escalators at Dulles.
- And don't just try to slow-walk your way into compliance. Many people in airports are in a hurry for good reasons. Get out of their way.
- If you must text or email, move to the side of the concourse. The part of your brain that types also short-circuits your sense of direction, overregulates your speed, and disables your situational awareness. If you meander in front of me while I'm trying to hustle from G-20 to A-20 in Minneapolis, I will enjoy running you over.
- In that nerve-wracking time when people start jockeying for position before they call your boarding group, find a decent place to stand. As everybody inches closer, you have two choices: stay where you are and yield your position, or inch closer in proportion to everybody else, maintaining the same relative position. Don't try to weave through the crowd to improve your position, because then everybody will, and all hell will break loose.
- When it is a scrum, it is a scrum. Once something resembling a line forms, it is a line. You enter a line from the back, not from the middle.
- They keep saying it, and you keep not listening. Your bag goes into the overhead compartment WHEELS FIRST. If your bag only fits in sideways, IT DOESN'T FIT. Check it.
- If the person behind you is in a car seat or is carrying a child on his or her lap, you cannot recline your seat. True, this is an unexpected inconvenience to you. But you cannot do it, period, so don't bother making mad faces at the parents.
- Middle seat gets both armrests. This way, everybody gets at least one armrest, and it best equalizes everybody's space. If you think that the shared armrests are for whoever first claims them -- a rule that frequently would leave the middle-seater wedged between two elbowy people -- you have entitlement issues.
- Relatedly, no matter how important you are, there is no hierarchy of in-flight activity. Your splay-elbowed comfort while typing out your brief, presentation, or screenplay does not warrant jabbing your sleeping neighbor's elbow off the armrest.
- If you're in the middle or window seat and you have to get up, don't grab the seat in front of you to steady yourself. You're capable of standing up without bouncing that person like a rubber toy.
- Never conduct a conversation across a person. There is little on a plane as irritating as being right between two people shouting at each other. Perhaps you could offer to trade seats?
- Exiting a plane is like a wedding recessional. Everybody in the front row goes, then everybody in the next row, and so on. No matter when you reached the aisle, if you are in Row 21, you are not going to get off before the people in Row 20.
Friday, December 21, 2012
YOU GOT TO MOVE: It's never a bad time to remind people of their obligations in an airport or on a plane, but as we hit the high season for holiday travel, now is an especially not-bad time.
Posted by Isaac Spaceman at 4:51 PM