Taking in my 3rd flight in two weeks, one becomes very aware of his close surroundings. The cracker/cookie/peanut option that comes WAY before the drink option, the voluble business man with the ever-present earpiece closing one last deal before the plan takes off. (Because everyone knows, most business deals happen within minutes of take-off and landing.)
Some people master the shuffle down the breezeway, through the narrow confines of the single airplane aisle. Others have not. Let's focus on them for a minute. The non-business/leisure traveler. Let's call them the NBLT's.
Before the NBLT's even get into the plane they've parked at Circle Parking, plopped onto the shuttle bus after locking their car 16 times and pouring their over-sized suitcases onto the metal racks in the shuttle. After the 12-minute excursion to the terminal, now comes the ticket search. Skipping the easy-go-right-to-the-gate-without-any-issues-if-you-just-swipe-your-credit-card kiosk, the ticket search begins. Seeing that they've booked their trip with Expedia and have an 11-page dot-matrix print-out of every nook and cranny tip/trick of their upcoming trip they ask the gate agent for help. The gate agent asks for some identification and the NBLT pulls their ID from their neck lanyard they bought from Target.
After deciphering the cryptic code of the Electronic Check-In machine the multiple bags get tagged and the move to Security ensues. Making their way, after a quick bathroom break, to the never ending line, the NBLT's realize they need a picture ID. Wait! I have it right here! In my neck lanyard! Eureka. Now the de-feathering process begins. Take off your jewelry, your belt, your sport coat, your overcoat, your shoes (oops, should've worn your dress socks), and your soul. Then make sure that all of your liquids are contained in one place, wait, what? Liquids? Who said anything about liquids? You mean my over-sized thing of nail polish remover and Jergens lotion can't travel with me? WTF.
We made it. After arriving 2 hours early to the airport and breezing through ;)
Next phase. The flight.