Friday, March 18, 2005

The white zone is for loading and unloading ONLY!

People in airports are idiots; not the overworked airline, airport and security staff but the over perspiring passengers. It’s hard to tell whether these people are idiots when they’re not in airports (I suspect not) but they sure as hell become idiots as soon as they triple park their cars in a lane that says ‘no stopping’ in order to offload their feuding family and overweight luggage into the path of an oncoming taxi. (I sat outside in the sun at Miami airport yesterday and lost count of the number of times this happened.)

It’s almost as if people instantly lose the ability to read signs, tell time, follow instructions and communicate coherently with their fellow man when they walk through the Star Trek sliding doors into any airport concourse. (Maybe that’s it! It’s actually a parallel universe where the space time continuum has been suspended, a bit like the episode where the ‘alternative’, evil Spock grows a goatee beard in season 2, episode 4! But I digress.) Many passengers wander aimlessly around the aiport gazing up at the roof as if they’ve just woken from an unsuccessful lobotomy.

At the check-in desk after queuing for twenty minutes…
Oh, you want to see my passport? I’m sure I have it here somewhere.” Idiot.

At the security checkpoint…
Oh, I need to take my laptop OUT of its case? Because I thought that all the signs and verbal instructions to take my laptop out of its case meant that I should just stand here with it IN its case so I can set off the metal detector when I walk through at the same time as all five of my feuding family.” Blithering idiot.

At the departure gate…
A boarding card? What’s that?” Fuckwit idiot.

Chief among all the airport idiots I’m afraid, are the British. Instilled, still, with that domineering, Empire spirit, the British simply believe that rules and regulations shouldn’t have to apply to them. Many go to Florida on their holidays but come back with twenty new pairs of Levis and Nikes, a load of DVDs that won’t work at home and a full sized Mickey Mouse/Winnie the Pooh that should have an airline seat of its own.

What do you mean there’s a charge for our luggage weighing four times the allowable limit?” they screech incredulously. “Right Doris, grab 23 plastic bags and we’ll take it on as hand luggage instead - that’ll teach these bleedin’ Yanks.”

Funniest of all though is watching the British queue for something. The British could queue for… eh… Britain at the Olympics and seem strangely drawn to joining a queue without questioning what the queue is for. Very occasionally they’ll ask someone else in the queue what the queue is for but they usually leave this until the last minute - to do otherwise would be impolite.

Yesterday at the departure gate in Miami, the British were restless. The plane to London was scheduled to leave at 5.10pm but by 4.30pm (the time by which the gate was due to close as stated on the boarding card) there was no call to board. Despite regular updates from British Airways, the passengers had formed irregular queues close to the exit door during the previous 40 minutes, determined not to be left behind should the plane suddenly decide to depart, passenger less, of its own accord.

By 4.40pm, the restlessness had turned ugly as the British wrath was unleashed in a series of barely audible ‘tutts’ underneath their collective breath and some additional inching towards the exit door. From the smug comfort of my three leather seats at the empty departure gate opposite, I was convinced that The Beatles had re-formed (and been resurrected) and that the last five tickets were about to go on sale for their reunion concert.

At 4.45pm, the attempt to pre-board first class passengers and those with young children disintegrated into bedlam as the British descended in an orderly fashion and ushered themselves and their endless plastic bags on board.

With little hand luggage and a pre-assigned seat (doesn’t everyone?), I was the very last person to board the aircraft some twenty minutes later. Ignoring the dirty looks that suggested I had single-handedly delayed their departure, I attempted to inadvertently smack as many of the idiots as possible on the head with my backpack and slumped into my window seat for the pleasant eight-hour flight home.

I always try and get a window seat because there’s no pressure then to get up first when the plane lands. An aisle seat would mean that I’d be duty bound to ignore the instruction to stay seated until the ‘fasten seat belts’ sign is switched off and attempt to remove my 23 plastic bags from the overhead compartments as the plane is taxiing to the gate. And then I’d go lurching forward (as many did this morning) when the plane comes to an abrupt stop. Idiots.


At 20/3/05 12:49 pm, Blogger ropedncr said...


brilliant. as usual.

have you never been to a department of motor vehicles (for a license, plates, what have you)? it's not just airports.

At 20/3/05 5:54 pm, Blogger DC said...




At 21/3/05 12:18 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Soaps - soups - hehehehe. I travel with a feuding family. My mother did her infamous "fucking eejits beeping as they go through security holding up our queue" trick, whilst I, wearing not an iota of metal, got beeped despite wearing only kickers, a wrap around skirt, and a vest. Bastards. They even made me take my (satin and rubber)shoes off. I was so angry I had to be dragged off the security guard.


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