The week before Thanksgiving involved a trip to Texas to hangout with Kristi, Omar, Christian, and Jeremy, followed by a trip to Mississippi. There was also a cheerleading competition somewhere in the middle.
A couple weeks ago I went to the bank to get some cash before what was destined to be a long and festive day. When I pulled up to the ATM and stuck my card it, it got kicked out. Looking at the screen I saw a bunch of stuff in Spanish that I didn’t understand and what appeared to be a countdown with 50-something seconds left. I figured I’d wait it out then proceed with my transaction. During the wait my ADD kicked in and I noticed money was in the dispenser. The truck in front of me left without taking there money. I took it out and the countdown stopped. I went on with my transaction and drove to Scott’s to start the festivities.
Once I got to Scott’s I called my bank to see if there was a way to return the money to it’s owner. Since my transaction had to be recorded I figured there would be a way to pull that up and determine the transaction that was immediately before mine. I knew they couldn’t give me any information about the person that left their money, but I was guessing they’d be able to do something to help me return the money to the right person. They couldn’t. Between bank policies and privacy laws the person I talked to from my bank couldn’t do anything to assist me in returning the money.
Well I tried. And the money was well spent on the festivities of the evening.
As we get close to the winter holidays and the time of year when very infrequent travelers take their only flights each year, it seemed appropriate to mention some air travel annoyances. First, checking in at the counter will require an ID. Please have it accessible instead of buried in your clutch, which is in a hand bag, that is in your suitcase. Also, please figure out in advance if you’ll be checking luggage and charged for checking luggage so you are prepared to pay, if necessary.
When going through security please be aware of what needs to be done in Precheck and standard lanes. In Precheck lanes you don’t have to take your shoes or light jacket off or your computer out of the bag, so please don’t slow down the lane by doing so. Alternatively, in the standard lane you do need to take off your shoes and jacket, as well as take you toiletries and computer out of your bag, so please be prepared to do so.
When at the gate take a seat and relax, emphasis on “A”. With more people traveling than normal there isn’t going to be room for everyone if we all decide our bags deserve a seat of their own. Also remember the airline is likely to string you along if there are delays by bumping your departure time back 15 minutes at a time even though it’s your flights scheduled departure time and the plane is still 2 hours away.
When boarding starts there is little reason to crowd the boarding area prior to your group being called. When you choose to anyway, please leave room for the people in the groups already called to get past you and board the plane. And when getting on the plane, please be aware of your bags. I’ve seen and been on the receiving end of numerous purses and backpacks bouncing off my face because their owners were flinging them around as though they forgot they were carrying them. Also, when boarding, please put your bag in an overhead bin close to your row. I understand you want it to be in front of you so it’s easy to grab as you exit the plane, but it should be 1-3 rows in front of you, not 10+ because the people sitting in front of you will need that overhead bin space.
During the flight try not to get mad at babies. I know crying can be annoying on flights, but they are babies and don’t know better. Plus, they are usually crying because their ears need to pop due to the pressure change, so they really can’t help it. Now if you turn around and shoot the 7 year old that’s been kicking your seat for the past hour with a tranquilizer dart, I’ll understand.
When deplaning, please let the people in front of you go first. I thought this was common sense until recently, but since apparently it’s not, I had to say it. In all reality, you won’t get off much quicker by trying to sprint to the front, since you won’t make it that far.
That’s about it. Please have a safe holiday travel season and enjoy the time wherever you are going.
Ze Frank presented Are You Human? as a TED Talk.