OK, maybe I’m a tad grumpy this morning, but I also don’t like having CNN shoved down my throat at airports. Now I’m as interested in news as the next guy, but being forced to listen to it over and over while waiting for an airplane is torture. They put a subtitle on it that interested parties can read, why not just turn off the sound and let the rest of us read our newspapers or blog in peace.
And what about all those announcements of flight so in so is boarding and if you don’t get on right now the world will come to an end. I say one announcement is enough. After that, we are all on our own. Let people learn that if they aren’t at the appointed gate at the appointed time, they will miss the plane. If you do that a few times, folks will get the idea. Frankly there are so many announcements that they are ignored anyway, or not understandable in the cacophony that is an airport terminal.
Of course, the designer of the TSA lines never had to go through the line themselves. The “pre” tables are too short in most cases, and the “post” areas are also on the tiny side. As for help, the folks at the TSA are absolutely no help. They yell at you about all the things you should be doing, but when they are yelling, its usually too late. You are already committed to one direction and they give instructions to take another.
The UK has it right. At Heathrow, there are video screens that can be seen from the queues and they give complete instructions as to what to do when you get to the screening area. “Take off your coat, shoes, computer out, etc” They also add little tidbits like put your change and cell phone in your jacket pocket so you don’t set off the screeners. Then there is a person who actually helps you put your stuff in the little bins and pushes them through the screening area. What a concept. Sure runs a lot smoother.
And last but not least, why do airlines charge you to take an earlier flight. I can see no reason for that charge. If there is an empty seat, it is to the airlines advantage to put someone on it. It frees up a seat for a “walk up” to the later flight, it clears the boarding area, and it makes a happy customer. Charging $50 or $100 to simply let you on an earlier flight and do 30 seconds of keyboard entry is absurd. Even my buddies at Southwest have succumbed. Sigh