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Queuing to get on or off planes....

Queing On Planes

Holidays can be a stressful experience, negotiating the world without being mercilessly exploted and ripped off due to lack of local knowledge (and the fact you look like middle class money on legs), or ending up in a hotel where the bedlinen looks like it's been used as a tent by Raoul Moat is difficult enough. Getting on a overnight flight where you've not got screaming kids next to you, or you're not sat opposite the toilets is also a matter of utmost luck.

So then.... when flying can at best be described as a necessity rather than a fun ride at Alton Towers - are we so eager to GET ON THAT DAMN PLANE!

I mean fair enough if you’re on Sleazy Jet or Bryan Air and you have unallocated seats and don’t want to be stuck next to the fat couple you saw mowing through some chilli beef burritos in the departures lounge!

But why are people so keen to actually get on a plane where their seats are allocated already?


Before your ticket number has even been called people are standing and jostling near the check-in desk, desperate to get down the stairs and onto the sweaty overcrowded bus that takes you to the plane. And when they announce seats by number range doesn't everyone get up regardless of what was called and queue:

"What numbers did they say?"

“I think it was seats 30 – 42, what number are you?”

“28 but that’s close enough isn’t it?”


So once all checked in on the runway there's the mad stampede to get seated on the plane, i mean do people actually think that if they are not on board sat down and buckled up with 4 minutes they will be kicked off and BLOODY THING WILL FLY OFF WITHOUT THEM?

Before you've sat down you find yourself stuck in the aisle behind some (insert racial or foreign stereotype here) guy who is ramming his unbelievable large hand luggage into the overhead lockers that usually doesn’t fit properly and he has to get a steward to help him squeeze it in. But he's not letting you or anyone else pass until his rammed every 'I love London' snowglobe, comedy royal guard hat and whatever other tat he found in London into the overhead locker.


We moan if we don't get food on the plane but what gets me about long haul flights is the neverending meal stream that punctuates the entire flight. I mean in 7-9 hours you can end up having six meals and endless other snacks and drinks brought to you. This is no bad thing, unless of course you thought you might actually want to get some sleep - because you can't just opt out of the many onboard culinary delights - no sir, it's pretty much impossible to sleep whilst all the lights are blazin' for each meal occasion and you have an air-steward waking you so she/he can pass someone elses tray of chicken and potatoes under your nose or slapping a hot towel down in your lap.


Then when you’re landing, the plane has barely hit the runway and everyone is up on their feet elbowing each other out of the way to try and get their stuff out of the lockers and push as close to the nearest exit as possible, it’s like they think the cabin staff will instruct the pilot to fly round the block again if everyone isn’t ready to leave within a three minute time allocation. ´╗┐THERE ISN'T A GUY HANDING OUT PRIZES FOR WHO CAN RECLAIM THEIR LUGGAGE THE FASTEST! And of course you could be the first to the luggage conveyor belt but it won't stop your completely battered wheelie suitcase (brand new and pristine before the loading staff played football with it) from being the last thing to get firmly punted onto the thing.


Ever get the urge when you see those drivers/hotel/business/greeters waiting at the airport entrance - to look for the smartest one holding the most professional sign and pretend to be whoever it is on the sign they are holding up. You might even be able to steal someone's holiday?

Reader Comments (2)

the idea of 'stealing someones sign' has occurred to me... but what if it turns out that person was in the employ of a disgruntled mob boss and was about to be taken away for kneecapping?

wouldn't feel so clever then, would you?

July 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois

So spot on, but I think the thing that gets me the most is when the plane's landed and finally come to a halt, and that split second that the seatbelt sign is turned off, the huge amount of people that jump straight out of their seats and then block the aisles up huffing and puffing for 10 minutes until the door opens. Here's an idea... sit down until the door opens. It's crazy, I know, but maybe give it a try the next time you fly.

August 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterI M S

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