I was on the road 36 weekends this year, which is low compared to last year, but still a ton of travel. I defy anyone to have a more polished routine when rolling through airport security, the rental car counter, or baggage claim. I don’t expect the average Joe traveler to have a routine like mine, I really don’t, but what I do expect them to have is enough intelligence to poor piss out of a boot, and to understand the basics of what is expected of them as a traveler. If they don’t, then I’m going to get all pissy and complain about the stupid crap people try to bring on planes, their lack of ability to board said plane in any organized fashion, and much more. My biggest pet peeve though is carry on luggage. Let me tell you what I just did…. wait… you’ll have to read that below.
Let the ranting about stupid travel crap begin.
It still never ceases to amaze me that people don’t know the regulations on what you can and can’t bring on an airplane anymore. I’m not saying you need to have the entire list memorized, but use some common sense here folks. 4th of July Fireworks are not allowed! Neither is that new AR15 you just picked up for an anniversary gift for you wife. If you try to bring it on a plane again, assembled or otherwise, I hope she shoots you with it. Like right now! But that bitch better not shoot to kill, because you still need to be able to walk your ass off my plane so I can take off and get to my destination. Your death will result in way to much paperwork and delays. We can’t have that.
And if that poster that you pass 14 times in the security line says you can’t have any liquid or gel that is larger than 3 ounces, they mean it! The fact that your 5 gallon bucket only has 3 ounces of lard left in it, along with some innocent residue, doesn’t mean you can bring it on board! And just because someone looks like a complete idiot white trash American citizen, doesn’t mean that the TSA can look at him and decide “Oh he’s fine, he’s just a dumb redneck, he’ll never blow up a plane.” Can’t happen! So instead of standing there waiving your arms and yelling about how they should be looking at some other ethnic group that is represented by somebody in line, just follow the rules!
I’ll admit that I DON’T always follow the rules. Yes, I am the guy that reads my Kindle when you’ve been told to turn off all your electronic devices. Now that doesn’t matter because recently the FAA decided that if it has an Airplane mode you can put it in Airplane Mode and still use it during takeoff and landing. Again, that’s for anything with an Airplane Mode. Your laptop doesn’t have Airplane mode. Stop looking! It doesn’t. Yes you can manually set it to where it is the same as any device being in Airplane mode, but they won’t allow that at this time. Get over it and get an iPad or Kindle or something and play with that. Or here’s a novel idea…Read a book that is printed on paper. I know, it’s weird, but you can handle it.
And how in the hell is it that nobody can understand the terms Boarding Group, Group, Open Seating, Etc? Isn’t it pretty self explanatory? If someone is in Boarding Group, or Group, 2 it would seem to make sense that this group would be after Group 1 and before Group 3. Right? Apparently this is not so clear for some of the people that fly with me. And why don’t people that buy a ticket on Southwest understand that they don’t get an actual seat, and that they can sit in any seat that is empty when they walk on the plane? No matter how or where you purchase your Southwest ticket, they pound this into you. Listen people. It’s not that hard!
After my flight on Saturday evening from Indy I have decided that no more than one “child” should be allowed per adult on a flight. If you have a couple kids and think that your wife is going to fly them out to see Grandma and you aren’t going, think again. If you can’t see them and be able to explain to them that they suck and people around them hate them, then they shouldn’t be allowed on the plane. Or, we should come up with kid transport boxes to put them in with the luggage. It might actually be safer for them that way. Remember, Daphne and I have two kids. Kids that travel a lot, including on their own. And while ours behave, mostly out of fear of embarrassment should they decide not to, 75% of the kids I see on planes are somehow a pain in the ass. They’re just being kids, but with parents that don’t know how to get them to stop when they are screwing up, the rest of us on the plane just want to throw them out the exit door.
Saturday’s flight included a woman who decided that 5 teenage boys was a good idea on the plane. It wasn’t. I explained to them why it wasn’t after the three in front of my bounced, yes bounced, in their seats for 10 minutes resulting in Gingerale in the lap of the lady next to me, and me being way pissed off by the simple annoyance of it all. Asking nicely didn’t work. Asking nicely again didn’t work to stop them. Asking loudly and then explaining that they better be having a seizure the next time they bounced like that seemed to do the trick up until the point of landing. At that point I still wanted to throw them out the exit door, but I was afraid the short fall wouldn’t be as scary for them.
The absolute worst thing about traveling on a regular basis is carry on luggage. Without question, people’s propensity to either sneak on too man or too large a bag, and then to refuse to put said luggage anywhere but under the seat in front of them, is the worst thing about traveling. I’ve had a couple of really good ones over this past year revolving around luggage, but one a couple months ago was extra “invigorating”.
I was on an American Airlines flight and had ended up with a Choice Seat up towards the front of the plane. Now I normally don’t sit in these rows because they are in the death zone. Yep, the death zone. You see being in the tail section of the plane is statistically safer. So basically everyone in front of the wings are what I like to call Airbags. But, this seat was the one I could get on short notice, allowed me to board earlier, and had a little more leg room, so I decided to live dangerously. What a complete disaster that was. By the time I got done there were people in the front of the plane who would have preferred to crash. And we hadn’t even taken off yet.
When I walked onto the plane, one small roller bag and my backpack with my laptop in tow, there were no spaces in the overhead compartments. None. For 6 rows, which is two complete overhead compartments on each side, there were no spaces for bags. And in those 6 rows, which should have sat 30 people, there were only 7 people. Only 7 people. And each of those 7 “Gentlemen” had put a roller bag, laptop bag, and in some cases a coat up over their seats when they got on before us as Premier Double Throwdown Special passengers. With nothing underneath the seat in front of them. Nothing. Given the fact that I’m a fairly timid and quiet individual, I thought about just grumbling to myself, but decided that that wouldn’t do any of us any good. I decided to open my mouth. Wide. And loudly. I asked loud enough for all of them to hear “Really? So all of you are too tall to fit in your seat with one of these bags underneath?” No answer, just some uncomfortable glances back and forth between them. So I said, “Seriously?! The rules say one carry on and one personal item, and the personal item is supposed to go under the seat in front of you. I travel more than you guys and can abide by this rule, so make it happen.” No movement. Now they were scared. So was the flight attendant that was cruising toward me at about 60mph down the isle.
She told me I could put my bag further back in the plane, despite the fact that I was sitting up front, and I explained to her that I wasn’t going to be walking back to put my bag away and then fighting the surge of people to get back up front to my seat, and then doing the whole thing again when it was time to get off. She looked at my like she thought she might change my mind by being sweet and then thought better of it.
Instead, I got some shoving practice in. My only regret is that I couldn’t actually climb my fat ass up into the compartment to shove all their stuff into the smallest space possible with my feet and legs. Instead I grab hold of the bag at the back of the compartment, where my bag was going to go, and started shoving all the stuff forward. All the while mouthing off about how much of a duchebag you have to be to be unwilling to move your coat or small bag so that a fellow passenger could stow their bags as well. But that was just the beginning.
After cramming all their stuff into the smallest space available, and ignoring their concerned comments and bitching, I finally was able to put my bag up overhead and take my seat where my backpack was placed under the seat in front of me. Other people got on the plane behind me and couldn’t put their luggage in the space they should have been allotted, and I just kept getting hotter. Upon calling Daphne to tell her I was on the flight and would call here when I arrived, I started ranting to her about how bad all the people in the front of my plane sucked. She was laughing hysterically after agreeing with me that they all sucked, and I was making no effort to be remotely quiet about it. Some dude sat down between me and one of the luggage offenders while I was having this phone call and quickly started laughing at what was coming out of my mouth. So did a lot of other people because they were screwed out of space to put their bags. I just kept on going until two really funny things happened. First, the flight attendant asked if I could speak more softly and keep it down. I told her that was unlikely, just ask my friends.
The second thing to happen was that the guy on the isle in my row, again who was one of the luggage offenders, finally turned and decided to open his mouth. Bad idea dude. He turned to me, while looking around the other dude that was still laughing, and said ” I don’t mean to argue, but I travel for a living too and I can put two bags up overhead if I choose to. i don’t appreciate being called a douchebag because I need to keep my things ‘nice’ overhead. Who are you to tell me I can’t put my luggage somewhere? I travel 26 weeks per year and know what I’m doing.”
Hmmmmm. This poor bastard didn’t know what was about to hit him. His fellow carry on offenders were now looking in our direction thinking that he was going to save them. He failed. “First off, don’t tell me that you don’t want to argue! That’s exactly what you want to do, or you wouldn’t be opening your mouth to argue. Instead of saying you don’t want to, have the balls to admit it and start a proper argument!” I said. “And further more, while interesting, traveling 26 times in a year is like child’s play. Add another dozen trips and we’ll talk.” “The rules say you can put one bag overhead and one under the seat in front of you. You are not tall, so get over it and shove that bag under the seat!”
“I don’t appreciate the antics sir!” said the douchebag, and at about that time the flight attendant is coming back to see if she can shut us up. “I don’t really care!” I said. “I didn’t want to get on this plane and have trouble stowing my luggage before takeoff, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter did I?! Consider my ranting the cost of putting all your bags and coat up there and get over it.”
“If you pull your laptop bag down and put it under the seat in front of you I’ll stop talking about it, which will make you and everyone else happy.” I said. “Well I don’t want to give up my legroom!” the douchbag said angrily.
At which point I turned to the flight attended and asked as seriously as I could muster… “Can we just cut their feet off?” and put my headphones on and looked out the window.