I’m just saying….
First, air travel is amazing. Really, when you think of it, you can get from point A to point B incredibly fast. As Louis C.K. reminds us, “You’re sitting in chair in the sky!” (See video clip at the end of this post.) And you will find some very nice people along the way as well.
Having said that, I would like to make a few observations from my most recent trek through airports. In no particular order:
- Apps rule! I recently deplaned in Atlanta (Concourse B) for a connecting flight to Austin. I checked the monitor for the next plane. “A3” was the designation. On the way to Concourse A, I checked three more monitors along the way. (I know—a bit compulsive!) “A3” they all assured me. When I got to “A3,” I checked the monitor behind the gate desk. Sure enough, my flight was listed-and it was on time. Life was good. I settled in by the window; made a couple of phone calls; read some email; and pulled out my book to read. For the heck of it, I checked the Delta app I had just downloaded. I was getting familiar with it, and decided to check on my next flight for grins. After all I was at the gate and really did not need the information. Imagine my surprise when I found out—on my phone—that the gate for my flight had been changed. I turned around and the saw that the desk monitor had been changed to another flight. There was no announcement to those of us in the gate area. Luckily I discovered this in time to get to my new gate (back in Concourse B!). Observation #1: Never depend on the airline or airport (not sure who dropped the ball here)—continually check on your outgoing flight. (Observation 1.5: I love my Android Atrix!)
- Think like a driver. Folks, were are in it together when we travel. If you are going to stop and look at a monitor, please pull to the side of the hallway—out of the line of traffic. You might have a lot of time to kill—but the guy running to catch his next flight would appreciate a little courtesy. Same for those who are just moseying down the corridor creating a bottleneck. I am all for enjoying the journey but, again, others behind you have connections to make. Observation #2: Slow walkers please use the inside lane. (Observation #2.5: Don’t just stop without checking behind you. You might get barreled over by someone who has not retired yet.)
- Think like a driver (part 2). When you deplane and head for your next plane or baggage claim you might want to consider not just walking straight into the oncoming foot traffic (see #2 above). Observation #3: Merge with care. (Observation #3.5: Even if you check the monitor, keep you airline app handy. See #1 above.)
- Move for oncoming vehicles. When you hear one of those courtesy airline carts coming down the hallway beeping the horn—get out of the way. Way out of the way! On my return trip to the corrected gate (see #1 above), I heard one of those carts coming my way. I moved. Thank God I did; for as the cart went by me, the driver of the cart was looking to the right as the cart was moving straight ahead. Observation #4. Protect your body…move. (Observation #4.5: Move quickly.)
- Thank you Flight #1487 Crew. Let me finish on a positive note. Lately I have had a number of misfortunes with Delta: cancelled flights, mechanical problems, gates closing early, and less than courteous agents. But I realize there are bad days for all of us. On my most recent flight to Austin (see #1 above), I had the great fortune to have a wonderful flight crew. EVERY ONE of them was helpful, cheerful, smiling, and organized. When I asked if there was room for my guitar (on a completely full flight), I was told, “Absolutely!” (I gave the attendant a CD for his kindness. These people should be doing training seminars on how to provide great customer service. While I will complain about poor service, I will show my gratitude for good service.) This was a wonderful experience. Observation #5: There are very good people out there willing to help and make your travel experience a good one.”
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2011.