Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to get off an airplane

Kind of like how we're not taught how to blow our noses in public, I really don't recall anyone ever teaching us how to exit an airplane (or a bus or elevator for that matter.)

Let's apply a little common sense here, shall we? You know how when you get ON an airplane, not everyone can get on at the same time? That's why there's a BOARDING procedure.

Let's use an "Exit Procedure" shall we?

Once the plane lands, leave your seat belt on, stay seated, and wait until the seat belt sign is turned off. Only then may you unbuckle, stand up, and then rustle about for your belongings so you may get off the plane asfastasyoucan.

Here's the proper, most efficient way to exit the plane: one row at a time, front to back. Wait your turn, impatient assholes. If you're seated in the middle or aisle, that means the aisle person goes first, middle-seat person goes second, then the window-seat person goes third.

I really shouldn't have to tell anybody any of this, but unfortunately, witnessed by last week's travels, I do. Upon my arrival in San Jose, Grandma Jones, seated in the middle seat, quite literally crawled over me as I wrangled with my stowed laptop case overhead. All so she could get one step ahead of me, when I wasn't even out of my seat yet.

"Could you wait two seconds?" I muttered to her. Apparently not, even though her sprint-over-the 30-something gave her a 2 second advantage, she then had to wait in the gate for her handicapped husband.

As she waited, she called to every exiting passenger, "Herb! Herb!"

Really, you have to wait for your husband, and you have to jump over one passenger? I call this the height of rudeness!

What else I find amazing is the "I gotta get out first!" passengers who run up the aisle when the airplane doors aren't even open yet, block everyone else's way so they can't even gather their belongings, and just stand there, impatiently. They then push past everyone, only to get down to baggage claim where....their bags aren't even there for another 20 minutes.

Let's apply a little common sense and courtesy, people. If you have to go get bags, you're just as well off waiting on the plane, and waiting your turn.

The one exception to "wait your turn" are the folks who are desperately trying to make a connecting flight -- especially the last one of the evening -- and are delayed as it is. In those cases, I find that the crew is usually kind enough to make an announcement to ask the non-connectors to please let the frantically-hurried passengers bolt down the aisle first...and then please stand up, collect your belongings and exit in an orderly fashion.