Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two Kinds of Fliers (airplane, not paper)

A friend of mine asked if I planned to write in my blog about the touring life. Well for all of you waiting, here it is. The first blog about an aspect of touring life – and this has NOTHING to do with a show.

I’ve come to the realization that there are two types of fliers when it comes to commercial air travel. There are idiots, and there are experts. That’s the only two options. No one falls between the two. I include myself. Let’s delve deeper into each.

In the idiots’ defense, most air travel idiots are not your general life idiots. Many an air travel idiot functions with ease and normalcy in his everyday life; but a strange thing happens when he first drives onto airport property and haunts him until he leaves the airport grounds of his destination. He forgets how to drive. Lane changes are arbitrary, and with little concern for the safety of others. He can’t seem to get that suitcase out of the trunk without unloading the spare tire and trying to hand it to the curbside check-in attendant who, by the way, does not represent the airline upon which the idiot will be flying today. The idiot can not see the next available check-in kiosk at check-in; has stored his ID somewhere beneath his laptop in his briefcase, and is immune to the coddling kindly offered up by the TSA agents as he invariably earns a bag check whilst simultaneously setting off the metal detector. Signs and gate numbers may as well be gibberish to the idiot, as well as boarding announcements. The idiot will always carry a bag onto the plane that will not fit in the overhead. The idiot enjoys his music, but forgot his headphones. The idiot can’t find baggage claim, and can’t understand why his spare tire isn’t on the belt when luggage does begin to spin round and round.

Most likely sitting next to the idiot is the expert, and I admit I place myself in this category. The expert is most likely a frequent flyer and is familiar with the way things work at an airport; and he can prove it because he has a story that will always one-up whatever is currently happening in your air travel experience. The expert has a favorite parking spot in the long-term lot, mostly due to the timing of the shuttle busses and the cost effectiveness of the long-term lot. The expert has, in his lifetime, worked as a TSA agent, ticket agent, baggage handler, flight attendant, jet-bridge driver, aircraft re-fueler, co-pilot, pilot, flight engineer, air traffic controller and de-icer for a MAJOR airline. He has a membership to the airline lounge but never takes guests because it is a “special place.” He has an opinion about everything, and regularly offers to perform the flight safety briefing prior to take-off.

These are the only two kinds of people in an airport; and one is neither better nor worse than the other. The magic and the ease of traveling comes, just as in life, when you know who you are. If you are an idiot, know it. If you are an expert, know it. Then, as you arrive at the airport try to subdue the overt tendencies you display as part of your natural role in air travel. Idiots take your time and be on the lookout for the next thing coming. Experts – well how do I put this gently? Experts, shut up. Together we can make air travel a more positive experience for all the idiots and experts of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Haha! We shall see what category I fit into soon. Major test.