Travel Etiquette of the Oblivious

Travel Etiquette

De-icing my plane Thursday. Always a comforting site.

I’ve traveled a lot over the past 15 years for work and run into oblivious travelers every time. It’s not even a question of being an inexperienced traveler that makes them oblivious, it’s that they lack common sense and/or the rules of the game. Below is a lesson in travel idiocy.

Do not walk swiftly in the airport only to stop mid-stride

You can do this in the Augusta, Ga airport where it resembles a nursing home and probably has 100 flyers a day. Don’t stop in La Guardia because you forgot to buy gum in the gift shop. You’ll be mowed over.

When in doubt, take it all off!

I hate the security check point. Not only do you stand in a line that resembles a roller coaster line, but once you get up to the bins, you have to wait for the oblivious traveler to use a bin for every single article they packed. Next, they suddenly realize that you have to take your shoes off and sometimes even get pissy with the TSA. This isn’t a new rule ass hole. Wolf Blitzer didn’t just break into the Democratic debate announcing all airports will immediately request shoe removal at security checkpoints.

With a few exceptions, most TSA folks are good-humored for having this job. There are 3 jobs I would never take: Telemarketer, School Bus Driver and TSA would be my third. From time to time you get the random TSA ass hole. I noticed they are usually the ones checking your ticket and looking at your license like “you weigh more than that”. Yesterday, I had a TSA ass hole. She looked as if she was at that point in her life of either choosing to remain Amish or live in “the English world”. Apparently I was 1/8″ too close to her for the facial screening. With her blue glove, she shewed me back. I was even mindful of this before I stepped forward as she had done the exact same thing to a girl in front of me.

Don’t be the tool that stands first in the boarding line because you have a Platinum-Gold-Infused with Baby Laughter-Frequent Flyer Card.

I’m really surprised by these travelers as they travel the most yet spastically jump up when Linda “extends a special welcome” to them. If there is first class on your flight they will be sitting there and it’s 99% composed of middle-aged white men in Dockers. I like to “accidentally” have my laptop bag slap them in the face on my way to steerage.

A steamer trunk is not carry-on luggage.

I don’t know if the flight attendants are just dead inside and choose not to say anything but don’t be a jerk by taking all the overhead compartment space with what you know should have been checked. I gasp at some of the luggage people take on a flight. Fucking check that bag.

Just because you brought nothing with you to entertain yourself does not qualify me as you’re in flight entertainment.

This bothers me more than anything else. I don’t want to talk to you. I probably have coffee breath, I usually can’t hear you and this is my “quiet time” to focus on reading or writing in lieu of worrying about a dirty house or errands. Once, I had an old man who just wouldn’t quit. After 45 minutes, I slammed my book shut in defeat (this was pre-tablet and ear bud days) and just said “tell me everything Joseph, I want to hear all about your life”. Completely oblivious, he did just that….for the next hour.

Not tipping the travel industry!

I hate when I see business travelers not tip the 40 lb, 70-year-old that just off loaded your steamer trunk from the rental car shuttle. Jesus. It’s not even your money. I have a per diem, even if I don’t, I still fish out a few bucks to tip these guys. I also tip if I forget a toiletry and they bring it to my hotel room. Hell, I even tip for room service even when there is already a 20% delivery fee. The added benefit is you become known as a tipper and service magically gets better.

I know I probably missed a million other oblivious travel faux pas. So what do you see out there? Are there any that you can’t stand?


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