The Rush to Nowhere

21 Oct., 2007

Can someone please tell me why everyone feels the need to be the first person on a plane? I travel weekly, and every single time, no matter where we’re going, how long or short the flight is, or what airport we’re leaving from, as soon as they make the boarding announcement it’s like we were standing outside a Walmart at 6am on Black Friday and they announced that the first 20 people in line would get a free toaster with any purchase of Depends or a lawn chair. WTF?


Yes, American culture has taught us that being first is best, and with the insane cow-herding and lack of overhead space that is the joy of flying today, I can sort of understand why you’d want to be among the first half of people to get on the plane, but running, shoving and barging your way to the ticket agent in order to stand in line in the jetway outside the plane door? That’s just retarded.


Being a frequent flyer and having “elite” status on United (it’s much less glamorous than it sounds, trust me) means I often get the incredible privilege of sitting in the luxurious first-class cabin, as well as being privy to “priority boarding” on the red carpet. (I’m not kidding, they actually have a four-by-two-foot red rug, and god help you if you aren’t holding a first class ticket and accidentally get in that line… the snobbery and elitism is like 18th century France all over again.) Even among the seemingly educated, sophisticated, or just plain well-traveled “elite” group it’s like someone just threw a coupon for a free boob job down the jetway and unleashed a pack of blonde 20-something sorority girls.


We’re all going to the same place, and if you’re in the boarding area the plane’s not going to leave without you. True, you might not be able to put your carry-on suitcase (the one that’s clearly three times larger than what’s specified as acceptable) directly over your seat, but guess what? In return, you might sit next to someone that doesn’t hate you and hope you choke on one of the five pretzels in the pack because you nocked them aside trying to be the first person on the plane.

Just something to think about.  Until next time, that’s my weekly rant!

The Rush to Nowhere