Summer Travel

Dwayne Phillips

Revision History
Revision 1.04 August 2004

Ah yes, it is summer time and the amateurs are filling the airplanes. They are here and bothering the professionals like me.

Today's flight is populated with a group of teenage boys wearing shirts that look like baseball jerseys. Each shirt as has "CS" on it. This group of some ten boys also includes over a dozen adults. Tagging along are the usual little brothers and other siblings. One mother is even carrying a two-year-old girl. What is with this?

Ouch! I just got blinded by a tall, lean, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenage girl with a volleyball sweatshirt and some ever-so-short and tight shorts that tall, lean. blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenage girls frequently wear. I would usually be quite pleased to happen upon a tall, lean, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, teenage girl with such attire. The trouble is, I am trying to be a serious professional on a flight. It hurts at times like these to be blinded. She was taking an every-so-cute photo of her friends on the plane

Us professionals, the ones like me who fly too frequently and spend entirely too much time on airplanes, are annoyed by these amateurs who invade our space. Sometimes they are amusing; sometimes they cause me to think about my family that I left at home, but mostly they are annoying in a way like a cute little puppy frolicking on the floor is annoying after only a few moments.

Oh my God, wait a moment. One of the mothers is walking up and down the aisle with a video camera. She is filming the mother sitting next to me who is asleep. Embarrassing.

The mother next to me ruined a perfect seating arrangement for a coast-to-coast flight. I am in the aisle seat of the exit row - lots of leg room. The center seat was vacant, and the flight attendants closed the door. Everything was set. Then this mother arose from her seat in the front of the plane and started looking for another seat. It was something about accommodating a family with small kids. That was nice of her, but why did she sit next to me? She is a pleasant person - most of the summer amateurs are pleasant - but she is ruining my perfect seating arrangement.

Maybe that is the worst thing about the amateurs. They don't understand the perfect seating arrangement and the other rules of plane travel.

Oh no, the tall lean, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenage girl with the little shorts is getting a bag full of snacks from the mother sitting next to me. Bump, there goes the laptop computer. I caught it before it slid off the tray onto the floor.

Now, where was I. Ah, yes, the amateurs don't know the rules. They don't know that you are supposed to sit for most of the flight. They don't know that you are not supposed to turn around and talk to people ten rows back. When they do that ten-row-back talking, they mouth the words in an exaggerating manner. You would think the words would come out real loud, but they don't. The words come out only in a vague whisper. Please folks, either yell or be silent. I hate hearing a whisper while seeing a shout. What is the deal with that?

Then there are the carry-on bags. Sometimes this is funny. The rules are simple: (1) put the bag in the overhead bin that is above your seat, (2) carry on a bag made special to fit in the airplane. Those special bags fit in compartments. They are convenient modules. Different people can place their modules right next to each other in the overhead bin. A plastic bag containing a softball trophy and a ceramic Elvis is not modular. It doesn't fit in the bin alongside other modular bags. It doesn't work people! Stop it!

Somewhere the airlines should have a rule book for airplane travel. The airlines could give the rule book to people when they buy tickets. The passengers-to-be would have to study the rule book and pass a written test before being allowed to board the plane. Surely the airlines can tell the amateurs from the professionals when they buy their tickets. The airlines keep track of how often people fly. It is obvious - if the last time a person flew was two years ago in the summer they are an amateur. My God, please do something to protect the professional fliers from these people.

Oh well, I am going to stop writing now. One of the mothers in the row in front of me is doing another one of those annoying things that only amateurs do. She is up on her knees facing backwards talking to the mother sitting next to me. Doesn't she know how many rules she is violating at one time?

The trip continues. The tall, lean, you know the blonde teenage girl, keeps walking up and down the aisle chatting with people. The mother next to me keeps turning around to watch someone in the back of the plane. Doesn't this mother realize that she is sitting in the privileged section of economy class. Sit still and enjoy it lady. Stop wishing you were crammed in the back of the plane.

I think I am starting to understand something about these amateurs. They are on vacations - fun trips. Don't they understand that airplane trips are not supposed to be fun? I have to be in California for a business meeting. It may not look like it to the amateurs, but I am working while sitting on this plane. This is my office for the next six hours. Would anyone stroll into my office laughing, chatting, and taking pictures? All the professionals are working while we sit on this plane. This is not fun; it is work. Someone in the airlines needs to explain this to the amateurs. Put on a long, sad face and do something void of pleasure.

Oh my God. The mother next to me has given the tall blonde girl three small cameras. She wants photographs of the kids in the back of the plane. I can understand the desire for the photos, but does she have to have the photos on three different rolls of film? I pity the professionals who are stuck in the back of the plane. They will be blinded for hours once the tall, lean (you know who) girl wreaks havoc back there. Maybe I am in a pretty good seat after all. Where was I, oh yes, back to work.