Lord, Save Me From These "Expert" Travelers
The conference season has finally wound down as we move into the summer vacation time. Sadly, flying to these events continues to be a deteriorating experience. But, the latest move made by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) made conference attendance worse, not better. What change did they make? - the change to segregate security screenings by your traveling expertise level.
For those of you who think you’re an “Expert Traveler”, please take the following test. If any of these questions or answers surprised you, you are not an expert traveler.
The Expert Traveler Quiz
1. Which of the following qualifies you as an expert traveler?
- You honeymooned at Niagara Falls in 1959
- You frequently ride Greyhound buses
- You have driven a Winnebago through 12 states
- You belong to the Holiday Inn frequent traveler program
- You think a Holidome is bigger than the Superdome
(This is a trick question. None of these qualify. You need to fly at least monthly and be current on TSA screening guidelines. Anything else and you’re a casual flyer.)
2. How many rows can be found in a Southwest Airlines jet?
(Another trick question. Southwest’s 737s have approximately 23 rows in them. Unfortunately, the inexperienced travelers seem to think there are only 8 or less rows. That’s why these initiates always screw up boarding by trying to wedge themselves into one of these rows when the rest of the plane is empty.)
3. When a Southwest plane is landing in Cleveland, which row lands first: Row 1 or Row 23? _____________________________
(The correct answer is neither. They both get to Cleveland at the same time. Those dolts in Rows 1-8 don’t understand this.)
4. How many ways can you delay everyone else in the Expert Traveler x-ray line? Check all that apply to you:
A. Pack a full water bottle in your backpack
B. Forget to put your shoes on the X-ray belt
C. Wear more metal (i.e., jewelry, belts) than in a steel foundry
D. Bring every bit of cosmetics you own, even the ones in the 10 oz. bottles
E. Forget to remove 10-20 of your body piercings before leaving for the airport
F. Bring a full-sized suitcase up to the X-ray belt
G. Brings lots of wrapped gifts up to the X-ray belt
H. You brought your cigarette lighter and pocket knife with you
I. All of the above
5. How do you screw up boarding while in the aircraft? Check all that apply:
A. Bring a roll-aboard that weighs more than you do
B. Bring a roll-aboard that you cannot lift over your head
C. Bring two carry-ons, food for six, a child-safety seat, a back pack, a hot cup of Starbuck’s coffee and a wad of newspapers – just for yourself!
D. Stopping to take a conference call on your cell phone while in mid-aisle in the middle of boarding
E. All of the above
6. Do you need to be instructed in how to use a seat belt? (If yes, end this test and assume you shouldn’t be flying ever.)
7. You open the overhead baggage compartment and find my sport coat neatly folded there. Do you:
a. Put your roll-aboard on top of it
b. Wad it up, cram it to the side and jam your roll-aboard next to it
c. Put your clear plastic bags of raw beef ribs on top of it (Honestly, this really happened)
d. Hand me my coat and tell me to hold it through the flight as you ‘need’ this space
8. You are one of the first to board and your seat is in the back of the jet. When it comes time to stow your roll-aboard, do you put it in a bin in the front of the aircraft?
A. Sure, that makes it easier for you to disembark
B. Sure, you have no sense of fair play
(Note: If I find your gear above my empty row, I will take it out and call the flight attendant over and tell him/her these bags must have been left on the connecting leg and should be removed)
NYC Traveler Quiz
If you’re a New York City resident, here are some special questions just for you. You might think you’re an ‘expert’ traveler just because of your NYC lineage but you might be wrong. Let’s see if you are an expert NYC air traveler:
You’re an expert NYC traveler if:
A. Seriously think a Prada backpack permits you to cut in front of me in the security line
B. You’ll go the washroom anytime we’re in flight no matter how many warning lights have been illuminated – even during an emergency landing
C. You can watch the Kim Basinger movie 9 ½ Weeks on your laptop without any concern for the other people (or children) down the aisle who can also see it!
D. All the instructions, warnings, etc. about turning off your cell phone don’t apply to you as your call is more important than our safety
E. You demand to store your carry-on in the space reserved for my feet
F. You never relinquish the shared arm rest, not even for a second, for the entire flight
G. You take your d***ed dog/cat out of its underseat carrier ‘to comfort it’
H. You think other people with pet dander allergies are not worth worrying about
I. You board anytime you want regardless of what the boarding group says
J. You consistently illuminate the call flight attendant button every 15 minutes to ‘freshen up your coffee’
K. You don’t even ask to use my tray table – you just commandeer it
L. You think the two carry-on rule means everything you can carry in two hands
M. You have never checked a bag in your life
N. You brush your food crumbs right into my lap – while I watch you do it!
O. You have never looked behind your seat before hitting the recline button. In fact, you’re proud of the fact that you’ve caused three laptop hinges to break and caused dozens of drinks to get spilled in a passenger’s lap when you abruptly reclined. When driving or flying via NYC, what’s going on behind you is not important.
P. You consistently refuse any request to change seats. However, whenever you want to change seats, it’s an absolute necessity and people should magically comply with your requests.
Q. You think your sunburned, overstimulated, tired and cranky children should be allowed to roam the aircraft, touch other passengers food/computers/person, and fight in the aisles just because their Mickey Mouse ears make them look cute
Hopefully, we'll see a whole new group of travellers before the next conference season. I'll have to watch Vinnie's blog to see how his Delta experiences are shaping the rest of the year.