The Policies of my Administration: Airports.Posted: March 10, 2010
When I take over, my administration will implement policies that encourage common courtesy, respect, fairness and good taste.
Last week, I took a little leisure trip to L.A. (Lower Alabama) that went through a couple airports. My experiences in those airports are the genesis of this months Policy Of My Administration. Let’s review a few problems and the changes I will be making in airports to make travel better for all of us.
People are in a very controlled environment when they travel by air. They have no options to get nourishment other than what they can get in the airport. The agencies that run large airports and the companies they contract with know they have a captive audience. They sell what they want, charge what they want for it and know people will buy because they have no other option. How fair is that?
Bought a $7 hot dog? A $3 cup of yogurt? Remember that $4 bottle of water? Me too. Guess what? That is not happening during my administration. Gouging captive audiences will be over. As a side note – ballparks and movie theaters – you are next.
Let’s continue on with the food. Dine in restaurants in airports have seized on the fact that the inflight meal is pretty much a thing of the past. In my local airport, Chili’s will prepare meals to go. Chili’s does not exactly make tidy, easy to eat meals. I don’t want to sit next to some guy trying to eat fajitas or baby back ribs on a plane. If you want to wear your seat mate’s salsa, you’d better make sure to do it soon. When I take over, only practical food,that can be eaten in the limited space of an airline seat and wont overwhelm the cabin with smell will be available for carry on to airplanes. Bye bye tuna sandwich!
Moving right along, let’s discuss moving right along. People are in airports to go places. Some people are rushing to get to their connecting flight, some can’t wait to get home. Some others could not be bothered to put one foot in front of the other.
Some people must hurry through an airport, for instance, people who have just a few minutes to reach a connecting flight. You know what really bothers those people? Coming up behind six people casually strolling down the concourse making it impossible for others to get around them. I also noticed that people in a hurry really like when others stand in the middle of the concourse and try to read the list of flights on the departure monitor screens.
Would it be that hard to step aside? No. Yet somehow, some people can’t seem to do that. In my administration, airports will be staffed to handle this. Feel the need to stroll down the hall and block it for others? Get yanked to the side and take a 5 minute penalty. Stand in the middle of the hall to read the monitor – be taken by the hand and walked over to the side, out of the flow of foot traffic. Repeat offenders may be Giloolied.
My final airport change will be to require that announcements be made by people fluent in the language of the nation the airport is in.
Before I go on, a disclaimer. I don’t mind pressing one for english, I don’t care if someone moves to the US and hasn’t learned the language. I learned in elementary school that we’re supposedly a melting pot. Families don’t arrive in the melting pot pre-melted.
That said, people whose job it is to vocally pass on needed information should have clear diction. Accents are not a problem, but to do something like be an airline gate agent under my administration, you will have to be clearly understandable.
I had a situation this weekend where I caught a connecting flight but, because of the gate agents heavy accent, none of the passengers felt completely sure whether they were boarding a plane for Burlington, VT or Charlotte, NC.
One passenger even asked “is this plane going to Burlington or Charlotte?” The gate agent simply said “yes”. None of us knew whether we were headed north to Burlington or south to Charlotte until we got to the bottom of the ramp and found there were actually two planes.
I don’t fault the gate agent. He was hard-working, showed great spirit, was likable and even joked with the passengers. Sadly, none of us got the jokes because we couldn’t understand what he was saying. We just knew we should laugh when he did. My administration will make sure he is in a position where a hard-working person can succeed and passengers wont have to worry where they are going to land.
Air travel is something a lot of people dread. After my administration takes over that will change. People will fly just to fly. I will be the engine of economic development for the airline industry. Or something like that.