Sunday, December 14, 2008

Travel manners

Thanks to Osama and his buddies, it takes forever now to go through security check points at the airport. Airports have been for the longest time, one of the most hostile places on earth. Now, it’s just hell. The number of people, restless brats, rude and unfriendly security staffs and of course the bloody metal detectors are enough to drive me insane.

Before the 90s and even before the emergence of low cost airlines like Air Asia, not many people get to travel. Now, “everyone can fly” and to be frank, it doesn’t mean everyone should fly! Parents who cannot seem to control their kids at home shouldn’t think that they can in public. Then, there are those who just park their trolleys wherever they want to. The worse kinds are those who think that the queuing line at the check-in counters lead to freebies and will not stop  at anything just to be ahead of you.

What about those who are so obsessed with their mobile phones  and can’t seem to turn it off even when the flight is about to take off? Then, just so that people will make no mistake about the fact that they can afford to have a mobile phone, they have to yell into their phones loud enough even for those listening to their iPods to hear.

What would normally take just a few minutes at the luggage scan and security check points are now taking longer than necessary because people don’t seem to understand what the metal detectors do. So  instead of trying to limit the amount of metal on themselves, they seem to pile it up.

I know some of you want to travel in style, but please note that the airport is just not the place to show off your fashion sense. People who are there tend to have only one goal, to get in, fly and get out. After waiting for hours to check in, flight delays, luggage collection, etc. they are not going to be patient and much less be interested in what you are wearing.

So here are some tips to make things easier for everyone at the airport:

1) Try to make use of the 21st century technology. If you have internet at home, do check in online. This will save you and others a lot of time at the check-in counters.

2) Pack your bags according to the airline regulations. If you are not prepared to pay for excess baggage, don’t try to think you can load up for free. This is a plane you’re talking about, not a train or bus. Every weight counts.

3) Don’t keep bottles of liquid above the allowed limit in your hand carry luggage/bag. If you’re a mother, find out what you need to do to carry those milk bottles, etc.

4) If you carry prescriptive medicines with you, please keep  the certified prescription list with you.

5) Don’t wear a belt, accessories, boots, piercings, watch, hat. The best attire to wear is rubber sneakers, loose pants and top. Sure, you might look like an old hag but you’ll breeze through security checks. If you absolutely must wear anything else other than to cover your modesty, keep them in your hand carry bag and wear them after you have gone through the check points.

6) Try to occupy your child/children’s time by bringing fun stuff for them to do. If necessary, discipline them. People won’t judge you for trying to control your kids.

7) Turn off your ring tone and set it to vibration. If you need to talk, try not to yell.  Try to get over the fact that you’re not the only one who has a mobile phone.

8) Try not to obstruct common paths with your trolley and do keep an eye on it at all times. There is a reason for this.

Some say that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination. I say, let’s at least try to make the journey a little bit friendlier and nicer.

Bon Voyage!


  1. I'd add:

    - 'bring some sensible food for your children' - so many times I've seen children screaming because they're hungry, or worse, playing up because they've been fed coke and sweets all journey, and

    - 'have your travel documents ready' - why on earth do people wait until they get to the check in desk to dig out their tickets and passports?!