Just Plane Mean

I’ve done my share of business traveling and learned to not mind it too much, although I have never been capable of relaxing in an airplane.   No, drugs don’t help, at least the ones that I’ve tried (although I’m open to suggestions and samples).

There are tricks and habits that make it easier to negotiate airport traffic and inevitable hours spent hurry-up-and-waiting-waiting-waiting.  It helps to have something either worthwhile or relaxing to do — polish up a report, finish the newspaper, troll for sex in a lavatory, etc.   I learned to scope out the entire terminal before selecting a bar or seating area, because some truly are better than others.  Cardinal rule: Always avoid children, even if their mom is a MILF.  

This take took me by total surprise:

I think airports make people unhappy. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is frustrated. I think that airports and airlines often forget that they’re in the hospitality industry and really don’t do all that much to make the experience better for people.

He’s spot on in the first three sentences — but personally, I never even once thought of airports and airlines as the hospitality industry.  Even before the long lines, scanners, and, if you’re lucky, grope and fondle sessions at security, I found airports about as hospitable as police stations or government waiting rooms.  And the beer is more expensive at the airport than the drugs at the police station.

The guy who made the observation above is a platinum-level flyer who always got selected for special questioning.  He finally asked an agent “Why me?” 

He asked me if I was making last-minute changes to my flights. No, not me. Then he asked me if I was flying international with no luggage. Nope again. He finally asked if I talked a lot. Bingo.

Apparently, I fit the profile of someone who is trying to hide something. I was always joking with the ticket agents and security guys, even the gate agents. So essentially, I was being pulled out of line because I was being nice.

Yes, hospitality at its zenith.  Penalize the friendly ones.  Encourage surliness.  The culture of Philadelphia distilled to its essence, enforced by Homeland Security.  “Good morning!”  “Yeah, so what.  Fork off.”

It’s interesting, too, what can and can’t be profiled.  Chatter and smiles bad, turbans and complexion irrelevant.   You would love the looks I collect from security agents when I remove my shoes to reveal the toe rings (22 at last count).  Their demeanor is rarely hospitable.  However, toe rings are not on the profile alert.

I may start traveling again — got some irons in the fire and any one of them might lead to some long-distance commuting — which means it will be wise to update my routines.  Lavatory sex is definitely out.  Evidently it’s as bad as acting like a human being in the presence of gate agents.
This entry was posted in Shaken and Stirred. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Just Plane Mean

  1. ya' gotta' guessit says:

    You, and your airplane problems, Squathole.

    Three words: First Class & Valium.

    Your troubles are over.

    Oh yeah, keep the wisecracking to a minimun around the TSA goons…what’re you, sick, boy?

  2. Elemenno P says:

    How many terrorists have been apprehended at airports since security measures were implemented? If the answer is ZERO, which I believe it is, does Homeland Security maintain that the reason is their measures have scared them away?

  3. Joe Balls says:

    With all due respect to the writer who seems to be a personable fellow, the airlines and airports are NOT in the hospitality business any more than Federal Express or US Cattle Haulers are. Plus they need to concentrate on keeping those airplanes running safely, which means up in the air and not colliding with each other or anything on the ground. Passenger comfort is ‘way down on the list of priorities, as it should be. Just get me where I’m going alive and in one piece, and I’m content.

  4. odtley says:

    after the third time i got busted by airport security and even missed my flight once i asked my shrink what gives and he said no offense odtley but its because you look like your as fuckin nuts as you are and that scares people shitless so dont tell me theres no profiling going on even if its just against mentals we have our rights too

    • Squathole says:

      Whoa, back up, odtley. You’re telling me you’re a mental? Say it ain’t so.

      Will you send me your email address (squathole@gmail,com). A number of us around here think you’re a natural blogger, and want to make suggestions for starting one up on your own. Meanwhile, come around any time. Thanks,

  5. guido says:

    Yo, Ya Gotta, don’t give squats any ideas. He can’t afford 1st class or valium until he gets a job. Besides, he actually gets even more beligerant, (maybe paranoid too) the less in control he is.

  6. Enderby says:

    This certainly makes a good case for going around sour-faced or pickled-puss. And you are so right to steer clear of children, whether traveling or not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s