Boarding is always so much fun, a very "Lord of the Flies" experience. After a general gathering as the door to the jetway opens the first and almost-first (high mileage customers) passengers board.
Then the crowding starts.
I watch as a strict muslim family tries to board with the second group. As they go through the attendant calls them back, apparently one of them was in a later group but tried to sneak on. The attendant was having none of it and made the entire trio wait. So sorry, if you want to go as a group you must go with the LATEST group not the EARLIEST.
Next I watch as a short, dumpy African-American woman shoves her roll-on suitcase over a man's toes. "Excuse me" she says and then proceeds to walk in front of him. Wow, five stars for bitchy there.
As we near the last group (mine) a short, forty-ish Asian man runs up along the red carpet entrance to the gate. Apparently he was a late, first-class customer. Now he had a roll-on too, but the announcement that the overhead compartments were full had been made and all bags needed to be checked. Oh no, but not his, and as he storms down the jetway I can't wait to see what will happen next.
We arrive at the plane and yes, all overhead in first class is filled. He opens and re-opens the compartments as the stewards look on with amusement. "Down there!" he points to a bin about half way down the plane, "there's a space down there!" One of the tired stewards gives a shrug and takes the bag, trying to accommodate the irate first-class passenger, the same one who has now held up the line for several minutes. With each forward step I nudge up behind the passenger, the weight of all those trying to board pressing behind me. As his bag finally gets stowed, he turns to get back in his seat only to come face to face with me. "Hi" I smile. I'm not moving. Now he suddenly realizes how many pissed off people are behind me and ducks to the side to let me pass. "Thanks" I offer and move on by.
Air travel isn't what it once was, a luxury, and a relaxing experience. These days it's the equivalent of cattle going to a not-so-pleasant end. I can't help thinking that the terrorists won. They made my life miserable and the lives of so many others. I wonder if someday we can ever reclaim what we lost.