Stay out of my way and walk in a straight line

"Damn you people. Go back to your shanties!"
- Shooter McGavin

I travel a lot. A lot a lot, which means I fly at least two flights per week, sometimes more, which pretty much makes me an expert on travel crowds along my routes and airport behavior in general.

There are two types of travelers: business travelers and the "I still don't have a clue about airplanes" travelers.

These two species of humans are easily distinguished. The business travelers typically don't care about the amount they pay for a flight since it will be reimbursed by their company or client. This equates to them booking flights on carriers that serve destinations across the country and across the seas. If you're going to fly, you may as well earn a free trip to Italy, right?

The ISDHACAA folks are readily picked out of a crowd as well. These folks will usually frequent discount carriers like AirTran, Southwest and JetBlue. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to pay much for a ticket if I wasn't on the expense account gravy train.

Apparel profiling aside, it would be difficult to discern one class of traveler from another if fare difference were the only indicator. But, that is just the tip of the ice cube. You can really separate the frequent traveler (FT) wheat from the once or twice a year flying chaff in the security line and in the check-in line. The FTs arrive with boarding passes in hand and luggage that weighs in at 49.9 pounds per bag since 50 pounds is the free limit. The infrequent folks (IT) show up with shopping bags for luggage and no idea where their driver's license is. Yes, I'm a luggage snob, but it's about the PITA of keeping up with the multiple bags not about the brand stamped on the damn thing.

And that PITA is borne in the security lines. FTs have their shit together. They didn't spend the last 40 minutes waiting to get to the metal detector talking about how cool it will be to go to the Bennigan's in Cancun to see if the Monte Cristo is served with salsa like the ITs. Nope. The FTs were putting everything metal and metal-like and that isn't a boarding pass or ID into their carry on bag. FTs shoes are already untied if there are even laces on them.

I've spent many a precious minute - the very few that you have between you arriving at the gate and the boarding door shutting in your face - trapped behind knuckleheads who were too busy talking about the new rims they put on their 1986 Civic. By the time they get to the TSA security lady they've lost their boarding pass inside their XXXXXL hoodie.

There should be a global "You Fly a Shit Ton" security line that you can only access if your flight total is above a threshold for the year. All the other rich folk paying high dollar for First Class should be relegated to the No Class line since they don't have a clue about security either. They are just spilling much more expensive loot into the bag check machine.

And no matter your station in life, ITs can not seem to walk in a straight line. They are also masters at walking in small circles while talking on the cell phone in the middle of the central artery of the airport.

Thank you. That is all.


Trey said...

I remember reading about this on the Net somewhere before. Apparently the Mormons had a successful test in the SLC airport for frequent traveler and family lines. And I feel your pain, fellow FT...


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Julia said...

When do I get to see pictures from Rimini???

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