3.28.2014

Random Airport Thoughts

I have noticed that people in airports are quick to criticize or offer a snide remark about the airlines and the flying experience in general. I perceive that I am much more likely to hear a negative complaint or comment than a positive one. You don't often hear people say how they love to fly or how well they were treated by airline staff. Most people overlook the fact that although the flying experience may be distasteful at times, there is almost no place safer on earth than the inside of a flying plane. You are more likely to die in your own house, statistically, than you are to die on a plane. And don't even get me started on your likelihood of being killed by a policeman (8 times more likely than by a terrorist, at least in America, if you must know).

The safety of flying and the surliness of people who fly, airline customer service staff and passengers alike, are largely uncorrelated. I would be more concerned about the emotional states of mechanics and pilots, truth be told, and I generally have little if any interactions with these personnel. The few times I have encountered a pilot as I entered or exited an aircraft, he or she has always seemed rather jovial. If they are in a state of white knuckled angst when we are in the air, they never convey that over the plane's intercomm when they make announcements.

TSA personnel can sometimes be rather surly, but I have found if you smile at them and speak graciously and respectfully, they respond similarly, even as they violate your civil rights. Since this is often the first interaction with airport personnel that passengers encounter upon arrival to the airport, perhaps it sets the tone, good or bad, for the remainder of that passenger's trip.

If so, I have a proposal. TSA personnel should hire clowns and give out free cupcakes at security. Wouldn't that set a groovy tone for your trip?

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