Home again, and facing a desk and house full of little tasks that are clamoring for attention. Correspondence to answer, thank you notes to write, laundry to be done, rugs to be vacuumed, books to be put away, etc.
But first, a couple of suggestions for Those who Travel Often . . . or Even Infrequently.
1.) It does no good to argue with the people at the counter. If you are late when you arrive, you should have allowed for traffic, security, etc. The bigger the airport, the more time you should allow for check-in. So if you show up with thirty minutes before your plane takes off, you may as well smile and kiss that flight goodbye.
2.) At the security station, go ahead and strip down without being told. You know the drill, so remove your shoes and jackets and pull the change from your wallet. Go grab your own plastic tray (and screeners–don’t be stingy with those trays. The lines will move faster if you just let us grab however many we need) and put in it your shoes, laptop, purse, etc. Just remember to hang on to that boarding pass.
3.) If your drivers’ license picture is unattractive (and whose isn’t?), use your passport instead.
4.) Bring a book to read, a movie to watch, or knitting to do at the gate. You’re probably going to have to sit and wait, so you might as well redeem the time.
5.) When they call zone one, if you’re zone five, don’t rush the gate entrance. Sit back and relax. The zone folks who have been called can’t get through the crowd if you’re blocking the approach. What sardine is in a hurry to get into the can?
6.) Tsk, tsk–you folks at the back of the plane shouldn’t be stuffing all your carry on luggage into the forward overhead storage bins. I know you’re thinking that you can grab your suitcase as you file by on the way out, but where are the people beneath those seats supposed to put their stuff? Furthermore, you’re usually on the plane first, which is doubly unfair. Remember the golden rule.
7.) In flight, unless it’s evening or the seat behind you is empty, resist the temptation to put your seat back. The airlines are cramming us in like never before, and there is simply no room for the other person’s knees if your seat is reclined. Furthermore, it’s next to impossible for a person to work on his/her laptop if your seat is back–unless the computer is under the other passenger’s chin. Do the person behind you a favor by remaining upright–and hope the person in front of you is doing the same thing.
8.) When the plane lands, I know the temptation to leap up out of your seat is strong–we’re all like jacks-in-the-box, ready to spring into action. But what good does it do to stand up with your head cocked at a 45 degree angle for fifteen minutes? Might as well sit back and enjoy your neighbor’s cell phone conversation.
9.) Speaking of cell phone conversations: pretend the people around you are CIA spies, and lower your voice a little.
10.) Let the folks in front of you exit first–the entire row–unless they’re obviously sitting their turn out. If so, thank them with a smile.
11.) At the luggage carousel, pretend there’s a solid line painted on the floor two feet out from the edge of the luggage “runway.” Respect this space until you see your luggage and it’s time to grab it. Then step forward, take your luggage, and retreat from the zone. This will prevent the maiming of toddlers, inquisitive children, and elderly folks who wanted to visit the grandkids, not the emergency room.
I do believe that’s it. I feel better now. (VBG)