Friday, February 26, 2010

Up In the Air...Again

A few thoughts and circumstances I encountered on this latest adventure flying the friendly skies...

  1. Airports really need to get on the same goddamn page.  It's really interesting how what is necessary for the goose isn't necessary for the gander when one goes through the process of checking in for a flight and getting to one's departing gate.  At some airports, you can use a kiosk to check in and then wait in line to check your bags and then the ticket counter employees put your bags on a conveyor belt behind them and off they go.  At other airports like MIA, you go through the same process but then have to wheel your bags over to some other area for them to be screened by security even though there is a moving conveyor belt behind the ticket counter employees.  I'm sure there is probably a good reason for this, besides MIA being the most ass-backward airport in the country, but it just seems really dumb and a pain in the ass.  Every airport should do it the same way.  It would greatly reduce confusion for the traveler that gets the deer-in-the-headlights look because their originating airport didn't do it this way and now they are confused on their return flight.  Kinda hard to imagine why this is confusing but, for some reason, air travel makes people really, really dumb.  Another inconsistency comes at the security gates.  Ok, by now if you don't know that you need to remove all metal from your pockets and take off your shoes then you should be removed from the line and beaten senseless with a regulation-sized carry-on bag.  That's simple stuff.  The inconsistency that is annoying lies with airport security personnel who sometimes make you remove things from your pockets and sometimes don't.  When I left MIA on my way north, I went thru my usual routine and removed everything from my persons that was metal.  I left a chapstick in my pocket.  The lady at security made a big fucking to-do about that and made me go back thru the metal detector and put the chapstick in a bin.  You know, in case I had nuclear chapstick that would bring us all to our doom.  At LGA (LaGuardia), I went thru security 3 times.  The first time was for normal reasons and I made it through without issue (chapstick in pocket) but when I got to my gate and noticed I was still 3.5 hrs early (no other flights for standby) and there was no 1st class lounge, I doubled back and hit the next terminal over.  I got through security there without issue as well, had a few gratis beers in the lounge along with some veggies and dip, then headed back to my terminal to go through security for the 3rd time and catch my flight.  Here, I encountered the Security Nazi, you know, the dude who just likes to be a dick.  I went through the metal detector and it didn't make a noise so I thought I was good.  "Sir, I need you to go back.  Do you have any metal in your pockets?", the S.N. said.  "Nope", I replied before he noticed that nuclear chapstick in my pocket and made me remove it.  I did without getting irritated thinking maybe the "empty pockets" thing was new and then headed back through the metal detector.  Once again, no sound from the metal detector and once again this asshole stopped me and asked me to do it again.  Now I was irritated.  "Buddy, I do this almost every goddamn day.  In fact, this is the 3rd time if gone through security at this airport and I'm doing nothing different.  There's nothing setting off the metal detector.  What's your problem?"  He said something about me getting "four stars" as I walked through and that meant I had to go back.  Eventually, I took my money clip (stainless steel that is travel approved doesn't set off metal detectors) and put it in a bin which reduced my "star count" and appeased the Security Nazi.  I just wish airports would get on the same page with the same set of rules for each airport to eliminate delays and power trips by security.
  2. Some people never cease to amaze me.  Look, flight delays happen.  Whether it be weather, equipment malfunctions, or whatever, shit happens.  Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, the airline employees have NOTHING to do with this.  My flight from LGA to BOS was delayed for 30 minutes and then another 1.5 hours.  This one woman apparently thought that the poor girl at the counter was responsible and began bitching nonstop for a good 15 minutes before she finally stormed off having accomplished nothing but elevating her own blood pressure and looking like a total bitch.  I thought it was kinda funny when the poor girl behind the counter went on break and the guy who replaced her decided to crush our spirits and let everyone know that although it said our flight would be leaving at 6:30p (1 hour late), we would actually be boarding at that time and then sitting on the runway for another hour.  He got cussed out by what I imagine was his supervisor but I appreciated him telling the god honest truth.
  3. Sometimes you gotta give a little clear direction.  The plane I boarded on the aforementioned LGA to BOS flight was one of those smaller ones with two seats on the left side of the plane and one on the right as you board.  These planes have tiny overhead bins but I know my briefcase fits in just fine.  The guy in front of me was kind enough to let me put my briefcase up before he put up his jacket so we both could get our stuff in.  As I put my briefcase up, the woman behind me with the annoying, whiny voice asked, "How come you couldn't gate check that so we could put our jackets up?"  I kindly told her that my computer and some files were in there and that I needed to get some work done on the plane.  Again she bitched, "You could take them out, you know."  "Well, that's not gonna happen.  Sorry.", I said as she continued to bitch about her stupid jacket.  That's when I became irritated and gave some clear direction which got a clap from the woman next to me and sparked the guy behind me to say, "Forget it buddy, you can't win with people like that."  The guy then guessed that I wasn't married but the bitchy woman thought he was talking to her and went off on a tirade about being married for 42 years.  Guy behind me had the line of the night - "Man, that must be some luck your husband has."  Later on the flight the bitchy woman and her annoying friend both ended up getting airsick and puked in the barf bag.  Ain't karma a bitch?


miaexile said...

Your #2 above sounds amazingly like you after re-reading #1. I'm the guy in line behind you waiting to go thru the scanner while it takes you 3 times to realize you should have emptied your pockets before you went thru the 1st time.

SteveBM said...

Havent had to do that in 10 years buddy.