1. Slowing down everyone at security because they didn’t follow directions. Nobody likes TSA. I repeat: Nobody likes TSA. There is nothing more annoying to me than having to take off my shoes, and having my hair patted down every damn time. But guess what? It’s going to happen; no point in fighting it. There’s also no point in fighting the regulations for liquids and gels or whatever else. Unless it is your first flight ever, you should know that you can’t get away with family sized shampoo and gigantic hair spray. And if you don’t know the regulations, for Pete’s sake – Google them. All everyone wants is to get to their gate on time.
2. Lining up and crowding around the gate before the flight is announced. Here’s the thing: If you’re on time at your gate, chances are, you’re going to get on the freaking flight. Why then, do people feel the need to anxiously gather around the gate as if it’s a first come, first-served situation? No, there are boarding procedures for a reason. And the reason is to avoid the chaos and crowded feeling you are creating. Wait for your flight AND boarding group to be called. It’s really not that hard, I promise.
3. Touching you in line. Speaking of lining up to board, do you know what happens when a bunch of people get overenthusiastic and start lining up and crowding around? People touch people who don’t want to be touched. Airports and planes are small places – people bump into you, they mistakenly spill things on you, and you’re bound to touch someone at one point. But when we’re playing the game of you’re-too-close-to-me-so-I-am-going-to-take-a-step-forward and the person behind you unconsciously takes a step forward too, maybe there’s a reason why airlines board people in zones, you know?
4. Baggage claim chaos. Closely related to crowding around the gate before the flight is announced, is crowding around airport carousel’s once your flight has landed and you’re at baggage claim. As soon as I’m de-planed, I want to get as far away from humanity as possible. For some reason, being in a closed-space with lots of people doesn’t bring out the best in anyone. That said, there is no reason to act like free Bentley’s are being given out in baggage claim and if you don’t trample on everyone around you, you won’t get one. Your luggage isn’t any more important than anyone else’s. Yes, you can exercise a little patience like the rest of us.
5. Complaining about screaming children constantly. The only thing worse than crying children, are the people who spend the entire time complaining about crying children. I get it, not all parents are attentive but the great majority of them are trying. Keeping everything together in an especially high-stress situation like an airport is not easy. In my opinion, parents should be given medals for not having a nervous breakdown every time they step in an airport and get all their children on a plane in one piece. Here’s a fact of life: Children are definitely going to cry from time to time. I know, completely shocking right?! A little compassion would be nice. And if you can’t afford that, well, headphones in, yeah?
6. Parents who let their children cause a ruckus. Now that I’ve defended you parents for sometimes being in near impossible situations at airports, it’s also time to admit your crimes. Look, I come from a family of 2 parents and 5 children so yes, I can empathize with your plight to an extent. However, there is no reason on God’s green earth that you should let your children run amok around complete strangers who are already not in the best mood ever. Believe it or not, not everyone finds your child amusing or funny or endearing when they are screaming at deaf-inducing levels. I will always love kids, and to me kids will be kids. But rest assured that most people will not be giving your kids death glares, they will be directed at you should you just let your child run buck-wild.
7. Taking your sweet time on the walkway. Walkways make me feel unbalanced so I rarely use them. I also rarely use them because apparently it’s incredibly difficult for many people to simply just walk on them without stopping. The amount of times I have seen people abruptly stop, causing the person behind them to almost face plant completely is unbelievable. Remember, if you can’t use the walkway, the path next to it is always available. And yes, you’re in everyone’s way and everyone’s in your way. Deal with it.
8. Walking around without shoes on. You know what? It’s your prerogative if you want to pretend airports aren’t breeding grounds for disease. But please keep away from everyone as much as possible if you choose to do this. And don’t tell me it’s because I don’t get it – visiting half of my family and friends often involves going two days without showering and crossing the Atlantic. Thus, wearing shoes is not in the top ten most comfortable things when you’re between connecting flights. But you do need to know that if you decide to go barefoot, nobody and I mean, nobody wants to know you.
9. Bringing over-sized carry-ons. You know what? Airlines are partially to blame for this because they knew damn well that would happen when they started charging for bags. And don’t get me wrong, I will squeeze every last inch out of my carry-on luggage because 1.) I hate paying the additional fee and 2.) Avoiding baggage claim is awesome. But still, it is incredibly difficult to take pity on anyone who brings a carry-on double the size of what it should be. Not only does it slow down the boarding process, it makes the rest of us with regulation-sized carry-ons have to check-in our bags. Not cool.
10. Carrying around way more than you should. It’s never a good idea to bite off more than you can chew. And I have to put a disclaimer here for all the single parents out there who often look like they are literally carrying the world on their shoulders. No, this point doesn’t apply to you. This point applies to the person who goes crazy with numerous different bags that they either brought with them, or bought so much stuff at duty-free stores that they now have twice their hand luggage. Anyway, they now proceed to hit everybody coming their direction with countless bags and disrupting the airport walking traffic. One word: Consolidate.
11. Making out. Making out. Making out. When we have a romantic significant other traveling with us, it’s easy to forget that there are thousands of other people around you who actually don’t want to observe your public displays of affection. But alas, there are. Nobody cares if it’s your first trip ever together, or if you just got engaged, or if you are coming from your honeymoon. All people see is an obnoxious couple exchanging saliva around a bunch of strangers who do not care to witness any of it. Get a room.
12. Talking on your phone while walking through the gate and one of the airline personnel is trying to board you. Apart from showcasing utterly poor manners, it is always an inconvenience for everyone else as you try to juggle talking, and trying to either make sure your call doesn’t drop as you change screens to the electronic boarding ticket, or shift through your pockets and/or bags. We get it – you are an incredibly important person who must take this very important call. But you should know that you are totally that guy and everybody currently finds you insufferable.
13. Selfishly using the seat next to you as your luggage carrier. Whether you’re on a bus, on a train, or about to catch a plane, chances are, somebody is tired and probably would benefit from using the seat that you have decided to fill with all your personal items. How people are so inconsiderate of others, never fails to make me weep for humanity. Everybody is tired. Nobody wants to uncomfortably squeeze their luggage under the seat while trying to watch their other bags. But it’s the sacrifice we make for sharing airports with other people.
14. Taking up all the outlets. There’s a special kind of selfishness involved whenever people decide that they, and they alone, are entitled to plug-in all their electronics around them. During especially busy times at airports, the decent thing to do is to keep your outlet use to one. Using more than one, while somebody else is obviously pacing up and down looking for where to plug-in, is just not proper airport etiquette.
15. Stopping abruptly in traffic. I am a perpetual pedestrian in life. Notwithstanding cold weather, I’ll walk anywhere within reason. It is incredulous that people don’t know, just like cars and bikes, there are rules you follow when you walk. And one of them is not stopping abruptly because the people behind you might collide into you. Airports are confusing places sometimes and my heart always goes out to people who are obviously lost or need help with signage for language or other reasons. (Always try to help when you can). But that doesn’t negate walking rules. Slow down, move out of the walking area, and gather your bearings. It’s in your own best interest.
16. General loudness. Last but most certainly not least, people need to stop being so damn loud in public places, and that includes airports. I know it may be incredibly hard to believe but nobody who doesn’t ask, really wants to know every last detail of your trip and life at an airport. All most people want is some peace and quiet. And yes, there are a few of us who don’t even mind the small talk conversations that can arise. After all, we’re all in this together, right? But when you start sounding like a radio inside everyone’s brain, rest assured that people are wishing you ill. And praying that you don’t end up on their flight. Shhh.