Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, GA
July 18, 4:30am
When you have to take an early morning flight – which qualifies, in my opinion, as any flight before 9:00am, thanks to the need to arrive at the airport so flipping early to muddle through security – it’s frustrating enough just to wake up early enough to get to the airport on time. That alone is worth several high fives, a hearty pat on the back and bit of “kiss my arse.” Then you have to navigate check-in, the myriad of TSA rules, finding your gate and staying awake until your flight boards. It is not a situation that leaves one in a forgiving, kind and congenial mood.
Because of this, it is more imperative than ever, when you fly early and interact with your fellow travelers, to follow a few simple rules in order to prevent a cavalcade of annoyance or even outright hostility.
- For heaven’s sake, tone down the cologne. Let’s ignore for a moment that some of us actually get headachy and nauseated by heavy cologne scents. You’re in an enclosed space. Don’t make the rest of us feel like the migraine-burdened Jeanie in your bottle of overbearing musk.
- Talk just a little quieter, please. If you’re in a group, if you’re on your cell phone (pre-flight, of course, ahem), if you’re speaking to your small child, if you’re having a conversation with the voice in your head, if you’re practicing your monologue for your new film…look, it’s whatever-crazy-hour a.m. Even though we’re in an airport, it’s still quiet. You don’t have to make it your personal mission to show us how loud the airport will be later.
- Please, PUH-lease, ditch the smelly food. We have covered the problem of smelly food on an airplane before. This one is universal and holds true at any time of day. ‘Nuff said.
- As with #3, this one holds true always – please quit with the nail clipping out in the middle of the airport or on the plane. I’ve seen it too many times myself and have read way too many posts on Facebook about it to leave this one out. Is it a ritual? Are you sacrificing your nail tips to the gods of flight in hopes of a safe trip? No? Then do this at home, or at least in the restroom.
- Sit up like a grown-up on the chairs at the gate. Yes, you in the pajamas who obviously crashed in the airport overnight. Believe me, I’ve slept in an airport. Recently, in fact. But when people start showing up at the gate, you know what? It’s time to share the seating. Because we all would love to lay down and fall asleep at this early hour. Possibly more than you, since we already had to attempt to wake up. Don’t make us go all Lord of the Flies on you.
There are so many more tips that I could share with you to make your morning flights less aggravating… for the rest of us. But I have to board my plane now. One nice thing about early morning flights: people are too tired to stand in a lunatic mob around the gate entrance once boarding begins. We’re all going to the same place, people. In the same vehicle. We will arrive at our destination simultaneously. In the mornings, travelers seem to get that. That or they just want sit still for as long as possible before lumbering through the gate and down to the plane. Because it’s early, people!