Thursday, 27 August 2009

Not suitable for upgrade

Look alright, it’s not that I have a “problem with authority” or even an “uncooperative attitude”, I just hate being shepherded around having orders barked at me by people who think their uniforms give them the right to get all hopped up on some false notion of power.

“Wait here!”

“Take off your shoes!”

“Show me your seatbelt because I don’t believe you’ve really fastened it.”

"I don’t care if your MP3 player is off, the mere fact that it is resting on your lap during take-off presents a perilous threat to the safety of your fellow passengers.”

I find the traveling process tedious at the best of times.

Remember the days when you could rock up to the airport 45 minutes before your flight, sail through customs and make it to the plane in time to have a leisurely cigarette before take off?

Ah yes… the good times.

I’m not knocking airport security – I just resent being treated like a total incompetent or unruly child in the name of having a safe and pleasant journey.

I mean really, who is this odd man waving his hands at me and causing a scene simply because I questioned the reason as to why standing ON the yellow line instead of BEHIND the yellow line constitutes threatening behavior?

Also, while we’re on the subject, the last time I checked “why?” is not verbal abuse. “BECAUSE-I-SAID-SO-GO-STAND-OVER-THERE-UNTIL-I-HAVE-TIME-TO-DEAL-WITH-YOU” on the other hand is probably a fair bit closer.

Someone at an airport management company recently told me that passenger communications involved mostly the spouting of platitudes as opposed to customer complaints and feedback directing real operational change.

It seems like that’s all customers are these days, irksome unpredictable elements that need to be “managed” so they don’t get in the way of process and profit.



  1. It's the same problem in most walks of life, however well meaning the originators of the system/law/procedure were. The reality is that it's dispensed usually by a badly educated poorly payed person who has more authority than s/he is equipped to handle.

  2. Yes, I remember the good old days. I have been in aviation longer than a lot of these people are alive and they still boss me and everyone else around. Their excuse is that they are doing a job. My explanation is they lack training, guidance and sometimes good manners. The uniform gets to their head and they end up taking themselves too seriously.
    What can you do about it, in case of an airline you can tweet or facebook about it assuming you were on an airline that is progressive enough to believe in social media. As for Airports, what can I say airlines complain about them, enough said.
    My advise is stay cool, don't stress and don't let idiots ruin your trip.
    Safe flying

  3. Thanks guys! Think I'll start wearing my own uniform to airports and claim that my ability to walk a mile without stepping on cracks qualifies me to confiscate their hand sanitizers while flicking them right in the middle of their foreheads.

    Wouldn't that be fun :D

  4. Had a confrontation with an over-eager security type at Heathrow when I wouldn't take my shoes off there and then on the filthy floor but insisted on walking up to the scanner before I did.

    He was rude, confrontational and provocative - and when I balked escalated instantly, calling for an 'STR', whatever that was. Somewhat to his surprise I called for the duty officer and complained.

  5. Ah yes, the woman shouting at me because I crossed the line, made me angry that - it's because she signed up for a glamorous career in customs fighting drug dealers and everything else that gets on the TV shows about airports and ends up looking at passports all day every day , day in day out.. no wonder they have pent up aggression and take it out on the happy free person jetting off to the sun.