We admit it: When we step into an airport to travel for the holidays, our celebratory Christmas candles and menorahs transform into a very short fuse. Maybe it’s being wedged in amid throngs of harried, frazzled people — many of whom are in a tremendous hurry. Or maybe it’s because we’re lugging enough suitcases and presents to give each of Santa’s reindeer a hernia. Or maybe it’s because, between the crowds and the winter weather, flying this time of year is one huge, and frustrating, crapshoot.
Either way, it’s all enough to make even the most family-oriented, Christmas-spirited among us say: “Screw this noise. I’m going home.”
So the last thing we holiday travelers need is to deal with those annoying people who just don’t know, or care, about the proper way to navigate an airport. Here are the people we find the most annoying. If you find yourself on this list, please try to fix yourself soon. We also have places to go, and we’re already stressed enough. We don’t want to straight flip out on you during the holiday season; we’re trying to stay off Santa’s naughty list.
A drink or two as you wait for your flight is OK. But, and we’re going to get totally judgmental here, if you like getting drunk in an airport, you need to go to AA — and we don’t mean American Airlines. Airports crowded with holiday travelers are difficult enough to navigate without drunken people staggering through passageways, talking so loudly we can’t hear the gate agents and generally making us hate humanity. Keeping your boozing to an acceptable minimum benefits all travelers, including yourself. After all, most news stories that begin with “drinking in the airport” tend to end with “escorted away by the police.”
2. People who STILL don’t understand what to do while going through security
Come on, guys, it’s 2014. You’ve already had a 10-year grace period since the last drastic change in security procedures; you really should have the choreography down by now. Again, it's laptops out, shoes off, jackets in the bin, emptied pockets … and no joking around.
3. People who block the moving sidewalk
You don’t have to walk on the moving sidewalk; stand there and enjoy the ride if you wish. But we get so annoyed with people who stand there side-by-side, blocking the paths of those of us who are trying to zip through. Treat these as highways: stand to the right, leaving the left side for those who wish to pass you.
4. Excessive selfie takers
You’re going on an airplane, not into space. Logging every facet of your trip on social media (“Gate check-in selfie!”) entertains absolutely no one: not your bored followers and certainly not your fellow travelers.
5. Parents with no control over their kids
You know the type: the overly-permissive parents who let their small children run roughshod around the entire gate area because they feel their little ones needs to “explore their space” — which means constantly running over your feet and knocking over your suitcase as they, like the airplanes outside, try to reach takeoff speed.
6. People who try to flag down the golf cart
These aren’t taxis. They’re used for people with disabilities or those in urgent situations, not for those who are late for their flights or whose feet are tired.
7. Early boarders
It’s the most maddening scene in the entire airport process. The gate agent announces, “We’re now boarding rows 25 to 30.” Then, impatient travelers in rows 5 to 25 get up and crowd the gate area, either to get themselves into position when their row is called or to try to sneak past the inattentive gate agent and board early. (Is there anything more gratifying than watching a gate agent humiliate someone who tries to pull this stunt?) It all becomes such a disembodied mass of people that you can’t tell where the boarding line begins.
8. Outlet hoggers
Yes, many major airports are rapidly expanding the number of charging areas available to power-hungry airline passengers, but outlets remain a limited resource. And those who bogart the precious outlets in the gate area with multiple devices are the worst. People who get caught doing this should automatically lose their seats on the flight and be forced to sit out on the wing. (We’ll give them an extension cord so they can charge their phone while they’re out there.)
9. People who place their bags on the seat next to them
Dude, seriously. The gate area is crowded. Unless your suitcase bought a ticket, you should let an actual person use that seat. I guarantee he’ll appreciate it much more than your bag will.
10. People who play games or watch movies without headphones
What kind of person thinks that everyone around is interested in hearing what’s happening on their laptops or tablets? It’s hard enough to hear the gate agents, or the sound of our own breathing, in a supercrowded airport without hearing your beeps, dings, and explosions. Fun fact: In some airport stores, earphones are on sale right next to the gum. Heck, you can even buy earphones from vending machines nowadays, so there’s no excuse for you to blast your noise.
11. People who yell at innocent gate agents
We get it: Travel is stressful. And the urge to vent at someone is very strong after the third or fourth delay. But some of us feel for the gate agent whose job that day involves being the bearer of bad news for a few hundred tired, anxious people whom that poor worker is in no position to help. So we don’t like it when you go after the gate agent whose only doing his or her job. You may think you’re getting something done. But to us, you look like the jerk we’re praying doesn’t end up in the seat next to us.
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