It was perfect timing.
As I was in an airport reading an article about “Me First” travelers, I watched a woman walk up to my phone charger, look around, unplug it and plug her phone in. Busted.
In the old days, I would’ve assumed I was on “Candid Camera” and hilarity would ensue, but we’re in a far different age. We live in a society where people think it is OK to use a Knee Defender, a device that prevents an airplane passenger in the seat in front of you from reclining his or her seat. We live in a society where people think their travel needs are more important than anyone else’s.
When I objected to the woman unplugging my phone, she snapped at me.
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“I NEED to make a phone call now!” she yelled.
It felt oddly strange lecturing a person who was probably 10 years my senior, but I told her she’d NEED to make that call somewhere else. I also pointed out that if she simply asked to unplug my phone, I would have let her.
I travel frequently and the incidents like this that happen to me are few and far in between. Last month a guy took my bag out of the overhead, put his bag in its place and then offered my bag to the flight attendant to be checked. I realize that however jolly I feel inside, I must have a stern external demeanor that means business and let’s just say that situation was swiftly rectified by a certain look I shot the guy.
I see abhorrent treatment of others all the time. Counter agents verbally abused over a flight delay, flight attendants having to deal with supremely entitled people who can’t possibly understand why their so-called carry-on luggage that is bursting at the seams has to be checked and passenger-on-passenger rudeness.
The rigors of travel aren’t ideal. I get that. But we are all in this together. The ones who don’t realize this ruin it for everyone else. You know, the people who think they don’t have to wait in line to speak to a ticket agent or who don’t think they have to wait until their zone to board, causing delays for the rest of us. The ones who look astonished that their gigantic belt buckle is setting off the metal detector and then yell at the TSA agent.
In today’s travel climate it doesn’t surprise me that the Knee Defender exists and it shocks me even less that some people have no problem with it.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn arm rest etiquette.