The Idiot Parade

November 15, 2009

in Non-Story Archives

I have been a frequent business traveler who flies out of D/FW on a weekly basis for the past 7+ years. The first six years were actually very nice. No issues with security other than the occasional long line; no problems with passengers except for a screaming baby now and then or the chronic snorer; but nothing unbearable. In the past 15 months however, I have started to notice an issue that has made flying far less desirable.

I have always enjoyed my status on AA as a platinum member since I get to board before most passengers and get frequent upgrades. I love an aisle seat and often sit in the emergency row for more leg room. Ever since the airlines started charging for checked bags, flying has become a complete nightmare! Why? Because people who are too cheap to check their bags try to drag aboard every purse, backpack, computer bag, garment bag and suitcase under the sun!!!

It is the same drill every time. I sit down in my seat and watch the idiot parade begin. First lady brings on board six bags (limitation? Please, the airlines look the other way on this 99% of the time). After filling an entire overhead bin designed for three people, she finally sits down. Very self-important metro sexual guy with bluetooth comes aboard next with his HUGE computer bad on wheels, rollaboard suitcase, backpack, newspaper and vanilla latte. He fills up another bin designed for three travelers. I watch this continue over and over until about halfway through the boarding process, the plane is packed with luggage – again, only because people are either too cheap, too lazy, or too stupid to CHECK THEIR BAG!!! Then the next 60 passengers all drag on their oversize luggage and realize that duh! all the bins are full. Then they make the run upstream against all the other passengers and end up checking the bag anyway. CHECK THE BAG!!!

Also, is it just me, or is the class of people on airplanes these days really declining? Can anyone who owns a 1986 Chevy Cavalier now afford to fly in an airplane? At one time, flying was a pleasure because only people who could afford to fly actually did so. Now, it seems like we have a trailer park section on almost every flight. Not to sound elitist, but how hard is it to educate yourself a little but up front before you get on an airplane? Know the rules, understand that if you are boarding in group 6, there is likely no room for your rolling garment bad in an overhead bin. CHECK THE BAG!!! Because of this change in airline policy, and more importantly the idiot passengers who don’t know how to fly, I have not left on time on any flight in over a year.

DSD November 15, 2009 at 6:15 am

Well you don't sound like an elitist in the first paragraph…

Maybe, just maybe, if the airlines weren't trying to bilk their passengers with added costs that SHOULD be included in the price of the ticket, like checked bag fees (which I am surprised you didn't point out are waved for Platinum members) passengers would try and bring everything onboard. OR if the airlines took some RESPONSIBILITY for lost luggage, people wouldn't be fearful of checking their luggage. Because nothing says "we care" more than setting ridiculously low caps and unrealistic limits on what is and isn't covered; requiring a receipt for the winter coat you bought 6 years ago.

Ps. Spell check and proof reading are your friends; that way you only sound like and elitist and not like a moronic elitist. And drop the attitude about the other passengers, if you were really as important as you think you are, your company would be paying for you to fly in Business class and not in the cattle car commonly known as Economy.

MJ November 15, 2009 at 6:22 am

Blame the airlines, not the people. Not everyone can afford another $25-100 to check baggage after already paying $4-500 for a flight. Are the people you're describing rude? Yep. Are they any worse than you? I doubt it. You sound like an elitist asshole.

(BTW, "metrosexual" is one word.)

Whatadouche November 15, 2009 at 10:24 am

People that own 1985 Chevy Cavaliers can fly too! Next thing you know they're going to let minorities on planes as well.

Dianna November 15, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I was with you up until the elitist comments in the last paragraph. Being a poor graduate student without a car, flying is the only way I have of getting the 900 miles home. I don't know why how much money someone makes in a year should qualify whether or not they can get on an airplane to make a trip. I admit the baggage thing is a problem, and I do, indeed, make an attempt to check my bags even though I am just a student. But, your entire point is undermined by the elitist rant you on in the last paragraph. :/

ps November 16, 2009 at 2:59 am

I was with you to a degree until your class diatribe at the end. I am also a road veteran and did the EWR-SFO weekly haul for a few years. My biggest issue was with the self important jerks who would whine about not getting an upgrade, cram the quivalent of a steamer trunk in the overhead, about on their phone until the last minute and God forbid, no exit row! Oh woe is me! The ironic thing was that several of these "masters of the universe" were also on the weekly haul!! At least with leisure passengers. it's the luck of the draw. There have been a few like you mention, but not many. When these other idiots came on board you know exactly what to expect and most of the regular fliers would just grit theier teeth asnd open up the newspaper.

Winona November 16, 2009 at 6:38 am

My husband has been doing a lot of flying for business recently, and for purposes of speed (and knowing 100% that he will have what he needs) he does not check his small suitcase or his laptop briefcase, both of which are within the carry-on size parameters (and he's within the limit of one carry-on and one personal item). How does that make him lazy when I think he's probably the most efficient person on the plane? I only wish others would follow his example. What needs to happen is that the airlines need to stick to their carry-on limits and there would be no problems.

JVM November 16, 2009 at 7:28 am

Well, you do sound elitist.

But, I am with you on the checking the bags issue.

If you pay 300.00+ for an airline ticket, is another 30 .00 gonna break the bank?

And, as far as losing luggage….don't put anything valuable into the checked luggage. Unless you are going to a formal dinner, wedding, etc… you really do not need the Armani suit. If for some reason, you do need the expensive duds, carry the one or two in a reasonably sized carry on, and check the remaining underwear, toiletries, shorts, etc….

I check my luggage nearly every time I fly. The longest wait I have had was 45 minutes for the luggage. Usually, it is very prompt.

The airlines have made flying very uncomfortable, but we, the flying public have added to the problems, by being inconsiderate and not following the rules. If we all play by the rules, everything would be smoother.

And, why do people have feel entitled to more space then the next paying customer?

Josh November 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

I think the real question is why do people still think that being able to fly should be some sort of status symbol that only the weatlhy should enjoy? It's bad enough that first class passengers get pampered like spoiled infants, but now they don't want anyone else on the plane?

You know what really irks me? When there is a little old lady with a wheelchair, or a young mother with 2 young children carrying several bags standing in line waiting for zone 3 to be called, while the middle-age business men leisurely stroll through the preferred customer line with their entitled expressions on their faces as if they're some kind of royalty. Dude, get over yourself. You pay more for a better seat and preferential treatment. That doesn't mean that you deserve it.

gabrielle November 17, 2009 at 4:32 am

I don't think that how much money you make shows how much or how little class you have…On a flight this summer (the plane was small enough not to have a seperate business class section) a woman that was very nicely dressed and acted like she was super high class and better than everyone else actually changed her babies crappy diaper on the seat across the aisle from me while people were boarding! AND…it wasn't even her seat! No way was she going to change that poopey diaper in her own seat..instead, subject some other passenger to that.

Now THAT'S low class…

Mark December 3, 2009 at 12:19 am

Josh, do you actually feel like you "deserve" the Big Mac you pay for at McD's?

The reason that FFs get treated like "pampered infants" is that it's no fricking fun to spend the best times of your life 10 months a year away from your friends and family.

Working at a cafe from nine to five may not pay all the bills, but the bills are paid later for the guys in the business class seats, believe me.

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