Matt HealeyWednesday,6 February 2013

The Snap:

Yesterday I wrote about how bad U.S. air travel is. I did this because we have been spoiled flying Singapore Airlines in Singapore for the last few years. Now my wife and I are back in the U.S. and thus subjected to U.S. airlines.

The Download:

Yesterday I wrote about how bad the airlines are. They are and they deserve a lot of the blame for the state of U.S. air travel. However, blaming them exclusively would be lazy and inaccurate. The U.S. air traveler also deserves a significant portion of blame. Let’s review the actions of the passengers on my most recent flight.

We were waiting in the departure lounge when they called our flight. As we approached the lines for the gate there was a large sign indicating that economy seating was the line on the left and first, business, and Star Alliance Gold was to the right. We headed right as I have a ton of miles. As we approached the gate agent we saw and heard a few other Star Alliance Gold passengers complaining loudly that they were not being allowed to board. They were in the economy line, not the gold line. Maybe if they had followed the instructions on the sign this would not have been a problem. We followed the instructions and were fine. Yet they continued to complain and insult the gate agent for being dumb. Wait — who was the moron who either could not understand the instructions, or could not read?

We then get on the plane, sat down, and wait for the remainder of the passengers to board and try to put their bags in the overhead bins. Keep in mind that this was a full flight, and the gate agents had announced that if you were in seating group 4 or 5, then you would have to gate check your bags. This is common on full flights. So, with this in mind, how many of the group 4 and 5 passengers followed the instructions? I cannot say none, because some might have, but I can say not enough. This extended the boarding process.

Finally, we took off (after listening to way too many commercials). After 3 hours I felt the need to go to the washroom. I got up and start heading towards the back of the plane. About half way there I came up to 3 men who were standing in the aisle and talking. Apparently, there was a staff meeting scheduled. The problem is they would not move out of the way. Airplane aisles are not wide. How hard would it have been to sit down for the 30 seconds that it woild have taken me to get past? But no, that was of course not possible. My response? I lowered my shoulder and pushed through trying to channel Ray Rice. They were upset. I didn’t care. Same situation on the way back to my seat.

Let’s face it: U.S. air travel sucks. The airlines have cut to the bone and service sucks. But U.S. air travlers need to stop being idiots when they fly.

Hat Tips:

Image Credit: Flickr

Take Action!

Subscribe to get updates delivered to your inbox