Aside from being a great guy, my brother has an extensive amount of travel experience on both sides of the check-in counter. He’s been to all 7 continents on the planet and has kept a part-time airline job for the past 18 years checking-in passengers just for fun. The busier and more challenging the better. His favourite day of the year: The Friday before Christmas. It usually sees the most passengers through the terminal, and even the smallest hiccup can bring chaos to thousands of travellers. With that in mind here is a guest post with a couple of his common-sense organizational holiday airport tips to make his life (and everyone else’s around you) better when you are at the airport this holiday season:
It always amazes me how little people think ahead. A little awareness goes a long way, so help me help you by BEING PREPARED FOR CHECK-IN.
There is nothing more annoying than watching you stand in line for an hour updating your Facebook status and once you get to an agent then you start looking for your ID, and then you start writing out a name tag for your luggage, and then you start taping up your box of gifts, and then you realize you have a connecting flight and then you start looking for the itinerary so I can ensure your bag tag is correct, and all the while complaining about the amount of time you had to wait in line! If I could send these passengers to the back of the line, I would. Don’t be surprised if I (politely) ask you to step aside while you find what you need while I help the next passenger who has his photo ID and itinerary in hand.
The same applies to getting on the plane. Have your boarding pass and ID ready before you are at the boarding podium. Again, don’t be surprised as I ask you (politely, but maybe slightly less understanding this time) to step to the side while you try and balance your coffee and cell phone to find your driver’s license. Don’t huff at me – these aren’t new rules, I didn’t make the rules, but I do follow the rules. The other 134 people in line behind you seem to understand.
Airport agents are usually very efficient with their skills and can process you, your luggage, your seat requests, and your brood of children quickly. But we can only go as fast as you can provide us with the things we need. Anytime you are standing in a lineup at the airport, whether it be check-in, security, getting a coffee, boarding, or deplaning, think about the little things you can do to be ready for the person who is about to serve you (and by the way, updating your Facebook status is not useful to me). We and your fellow passengers will thank you, or at least not ask you to go to the back of the line.
My brother is actually taking the day off of his regular government job to spend next Friday enjoying the challenge of speeding passengers through the Yellowknife Airport.
All photos via Flickr Creative Commons