I am always fascinated by people.. And my favourite hobby is to watch them, observe them… not stare or oggle- mainly at airports, train stations and bus stops… Some are anxiously pacing about, some are glued to the screen [phone or laptop] and others caught up with their kids [controlling them, making sure they are within eyesight range, or trying to feed them/change diaper etc].. You get the drift.
Now, over the last few years when I began travelling, I have taken flights quite a few times, especially when it was to the Northern parts of India or the handful of international trips I have done. In most airports, except one or two, the security check counter for women would be at the far end and just 1-2 counters. We would all rush, wait near the conveyor that swoops our hand bags away, making sure our bags don’t go way ahead before we go stand in line for the security check.
Before the actual flying..
During the last few flights I took, I have done more ground staff work than any of the ground staff at the airport.. I have told people to go put their phones, water bottles, shawls, wallets, handbags before coming to the queue.. In most places, there are no boards telling you to dump everything but the boarding pass when going through security check. So, these lost souls will hold on to their wallets, purses, handbags, mobile phones,water bottles etc and then get sent back by the lady/guy at the booth, and go through the circle again.. clueless!!
I wish there were sign boards telling people to dump it all.. with images of the things in case they cant read english/hindi/tamil/whatever other language is the local one…
I also wish the folks at the security check were more approachable & not so stiff [they are in most places, I get that their job is mundane and they deal with millions of people etc.. but still] …
I wish people who are travelling ask others [either in their family/friends circle or the guards at the airport], gain some knowledge before they land up causing delays for others…
I wish most airports add extra check in counters for women, considering the number of women travellers is quite high these days..
I am not a pro, but I do pay attention and am constantly observing others, plus I don’t hesitate to ask questions [no matter how silly or vital] while travelling.. It has always helped and the staff has smiled as I thank them and walk away!! This has made me confident while travelling and helped me help others…
So, when headed for security check,
1. Put your hand bags, no matter how big or small in the conveyor belt.
2. Remove laptop and place it in a separate tray
3. Place your shawl/jacket in another tray
4. Do not crowd the area and wait for your bags to move ahead before heading for the queue…
5. When going into the security check area all you need is your Boarding pass..
6. You will get priority if you have a baby/toddler with you [ so move ahead]
7. Women & men have separate counters.. Pay attention and follow the herd… 😉
8. Within India, you can carry water bottles in hand baggage…
9. Put your wallet, phone, passport/other ID cards inside your handbag when going for security check
10. Wait for your bags to come out of the security conveyor and don’t get antsy waiting for it…
Boarding and Flying
These days most airports are “silent airports” which means no railway station like announcements.. So, do check the screens displaying departure details, note the Gate numbers.. Sometimes there are changes in Gate numbers which are shown on these screens..
Airlines also send SMS about flight delays and Gate changes, so check your phone….
When boarding, listen to the staff.. They usually board zone wise or certain rows, before moving to the next.. Give preference to people with kids, elderly and handicapped/physically challenged… Flight ain’t gonna zip away without you, unless you are lost/busy in the duty free store/bar!!
Once you have boarded the flight, just find your seat, make sure to make way for others.. Yes, I get that you have 35 small bags that need to be stored away, but it can wait a minute…. Sigh~
And if you have middle seat, but the passenger occupying the window seat hasnt come in yet [could be me], do not buckle up and get comfortable.. We are gonna need you to get up so we can squeeze in.. literally..
Also, do not do the “Do you mind sitting in the aisle seat, we are two of us but have this and that seat, we want to travel together…. “.. err, no, I refuse, cos I have fought for the window seat and just cos am single does not mean you bum me around… scoot over..
The arm rest is to be shared.. do not hog it and show face when our hand leans on it…
Kindly do not lean over me to click a picture through the window.. If you ask nicely, I will do it for you…
For those who use the restroom in the flight, and that is exactly when the staff are serving snacks.. Well, how about waiting wee bit so they can move so you go back to your seat? Most of them will prance about like their seat will disappear if they do not rush and grab it…
When the flight lands, wait a few minutes before turning on your phones.. jeez, you would think they would die if they don’t see the whatsapp messages or call their whoevers..
When the flight has halted and you have reached your destination, wait up!! The doors shall open soon and you can fly out to the airport to relieve your bladder and wait for your bags…Shabba, how all the folks line up like the flight will take off to the next destination leaving them stranded.. this is not bus or train where you miss a stop ya….
Oh and when standing up, if your co passenger is still siting, make sure to keep your hands down, or folded, do not raise your arms, showing off your armpit and stinky BO is no fun for them… :/
Make sure to hold on to you bags and not cause harm to the person walking behind you.. Don’t slam em with your backpack .. it is painful~
Psst.. Do not lean over and grab a sealed bottle of water from a seat ahead when walking out of the plane… You are holding up the line… ;o)
Alright, off you go… Have fun travelling~!!