Saturday, February 12, 2011

Travelogue: Observations

Some times I look at how people behave whilst traveling and just have to wonder what the hell they are thinking.

Years ago I wrote an essay about it describing the odd behaviors you are likely see while traveling. Everything from a lack of ability to remember how numbers work; why does everyone who walks on a plain immediately look at the numbers over the seats in first class? Chances are, if you are sitting in row 63, you're not at the front of the plane.

Why do people run to the baggage claim? Do they really believe that if they are rude to everyone and can get there first, magically the baggage will appear in less than an hour?

Add to this observation my latest pet peeve. Why is it that more than half the people on the plane never seem to understand how to most efficiently use the baggage carousels? You see it all the time. They have just been crowded into a plane with strangers, and then they insist on voluntarily cramming themselves into the personal space of others to stare at an empty baggage return device for thirty minutes.

'C'mon, folks! There is a reason that half of us are standing two steps back from the carousel! There is a reason that we are maintaining our personal space. …and it isn't just that we don't like you

The truth is that the thing works better if you stand a couple steps back from the carousel. Not only, can you see your bag coming down the ramp and around the device, it is that you don't need to knock people over to get your bag, treating the baggage claim as if it were a rugby scrum!

If everyone is standing against the carousel and leaning over (to see around those who stood against the carousel before you) then nobody can see the baggage coming down the device. If you stand back, you afford a clear view to all.

If you stand against the carousel, you impede everyone's access to the device. If you stand back, everyone can step in, grab their bags, and step away; thus affording clear access to everyone.

If you all crowd in against the device then nobody can lift their bags off the conveyor without shoving someone out of the way or smacking them with the bag. (This evening, this observation was vindicated when an idiot who was crowded against the belt smacked his kid and knocked him over as he tried to get his bags.)

What is it!? Do people check their cognitive powers with their luggage? Trust me folks, the TSA does not prevent you from taking that on board with you!

Wherever you are today, I hope you have had a great day!

Don Bergquist - February 12, 2011 - Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado, USA

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