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I have a special kind of irritation reserved for the process required to board a plane. I used the word process in the sense that means 'shambles'. However that is another post. And by post I mean 'rant'.

This irritation was highlighted on Friday at joy that is Luton Airport. Jose and where sitting down when the buzz went round that the flight was boarding. You know, when everyone thinks they are going to call boarding so jumps up and rushes to be in the front of the queue. Jose and I dutifully jumped up and rushed to be in the front of the queue. After a few minutes of standing around the air hostess announced that it would still be a while till boarding and would everyone please sit down. After the third time she announced this everyone looked at everyone else in a shifty way and then proceeded to start sitting down.

Jose and I started sitting down in two seats that had been vacated in the rush to queue. As we did so a man growled at us "Those are my seats". Jose and I looked at each other in amazement, and I shrugged my shoulders and started heading back to where we were originally sitting. Jose started making loud snarky remarks such as "I thought this was a public airport" and other things and I dragged her away lest a fight start.

We sat down at bitched at the man twunt who put his bag on one seat and sat on the other for a few minutes before asking a guy near him to watch his bags as he went off to find the toilets. The chutzpah. Let me point out that these were the seats closed to the boarding gate, prime seats if you will.

The air hostess came on again and announced that boarding would start shortly from Gate 1, and not Gate 3 as originally instructed. Jose and I shuffled double quick over to Gate 1 and were about 4th in the queue. We smirked to ourselves in glee that Mr Twunt Fuknob (Mr TF) in the ugly brown jacket could now have his two seats and we didn't care.

This was until Mr TF casually walked up to the (now long queue) and stood right in the very front. This prompted the group of girls he just stood in front of to turn to each other and say things like "I'm sorry am I invisible", but Mr TF ignored them.

No one had the guts to walk up to him and tell him where the back of the queue was located. Or more to the point smash his head in with their hand luggage. These moments I call, "If Simon was here" moments.

It gets worse. They announce can all people with children and those in need of assistance please board, and Mr TF tried to board. Fortunately he got the Low Cost Air Hostess glare of death (with pained smiled) and refused. He still however managed to board and get that crucial seat he wanted (Seat A6) and I assume got off the plane a full 2.7 minutes before. Maybe even 3 full minutes.

I hope he gets his tie caught in the baggage carousel.

13 Comments

03 Jun, '04 11:30 AM

1. Gordon

OK, I’ve travelled EasyPeasyJet (from Luton) before so I know where you are coming from. But I still don’t understand the rush.

Unless they royally keff up there is no chance of you not getting a seat. All the seats are the same (for same read small and cramped) so what’s the difference?

It’s the same with the mad rush off the plane. I still can’t believe that people rush off to the baggage carousel (“Look Mommy! That man’s got his tie caught!”) and then get all worked up because the bags don’t appear for another 15 minutes.

I’m the guy who waits ON the plane, letting the majority of people off.. you should try it.

03 Jun, '04 12:45 PM

2. Jose

I don’t have any problem with queueing (I’m British, its practically on my CV) or even waiting on the plane to allow everybody else to get off before me. But getting on the plane is a different matter; firstly its all part of the “fun” of unallocated seating arrangements and secondly, when everybody is getting all het up and scrambling around to be near the front - I like to join in, I can’t help myself. I accept that it makes me as bad as all the others, but who cares? There are precious few opportunities to elbow people in my day to day life, and you have to take these chances where you can.

Offensive Brown Coat Man was a different matter however. He was SO rude, to SO many people, that a good portion of the queue were grumbling about him. I’m only sorry he didnt get within elbow range.

03 Jun, '04 1:04 PM

3. Richard

With all the easyjet flights I’ve been on, they always board based on the boarding card number (1-30 first, then 31-60, and so on), which in turn is based on when you checked in. But you’re right — it doesn’t stop people from crowding around the gate, desperate to be at the front.

I flew out of Gatwick last month, and was shocked to see a bunch of young men in suits blocking the gate. They obviously had high boarding card numbers, as the ground crew indicated to them several times to the back of the queue, but they flatly refused to move. When pre-boarding opened, and a family with young children tried to fight their way to the front, the suits refused to let them by. Eventually a member of the crew had to push the men apart to let the family through.

Personally, I always like to get on near the end anyway. There’s no queueing, I can get an isle seats (which I prefer), and I get to choose who I sit next to (good looking women are a favorite).

I suppose the only reason for rushing off a flight when it touches down, is if you have no luggage in the hold. You see business passengers all the time trying to take massive suitcases on as hold luggage, just so that they can save 10 minutes at the far end.

03 Jun, '04 1:06 PM

4. Adrian

The reason I like getting on the plane early is because I normally do long haul flights (London -> Jo’burg) by myself.

If you are not early on the plane you find that when you get to your seats and somebody has managed to squeeze their entire luggage into the overhead compartments. This means I have to put my laptop and planentertainment elsewhere which I don’t like doing.

On unassigned flights, I want an aisle seat. If I get on too late I don’t have this choice.

Getting off planes quickly is important for me as I can get stuck in massive queues for non-eu passport holders which can take an unfeasible time as the grill each of us to find out why we want to be in the country (you take our jobs you take our women blah blah blah)

When I fly business class I’m much more patient (free booze in the lounge …)

03 Jun, '04 1:42 PM

5. Dragon

1 only travels 1st class DUK. 1 wouldn’t be seen in scum class with the FLOs!

Actually, the only reason I ever hurry to get on a Sleazyjet plane is when I’m with the missus - just to make sure that we’re sat together. Otherwise, couldn’t care less!

03 Jun, '04 1:51 PM

6. Gordon

Fair point Adrian.

Better point Jose! You are right. Maybe we should start a campaign to introduce more ‘elbow victims’ to our lifes… hmmm

03 Jun, '04 1:55 PM

7. Adrian

DUK? FLOs?

What the ?

03 Jun, '04 2:43 PM

8. Francesca

Jesus, Adrian, you sound as bitter and twisted as I usually do.

I have never flown Easyjet or Ryanair and never intend to. Since flying any airline with even vaguely normal people bothers me in the extreme, I think that flying either might well tip me over the edge in things to rant about.

03 Jun, '04 4:01 PM

9. Dragon

Adrian - DUK = Don’t you know FLOs = Filthy Little Oiks

Pay attention in your Uborka lesson!

04 Jun, '04 12:29 PM

10. Destructor

You’ve only yourselves to blame. Was there really no-one in this queue with the moxy to go up to this guy and put him in his place?

Adrian, you are the man who wrote a nasty note to the woman who parked in the disabled space when she wasn’t supposed to! Surely it was your time to go and tap the guy on the shoulder and tell him to not be such a fist.

d

04 Jun, '04 2:15 PM

11. matthew

what’s a ‘twunt’ anyhoo? this little piggy is a tweensy smidgin confuddled.

06 Jun, '04 11:53 AM

12. Adrian

Think of two words that you could combine to make twunt ….

07 Jun, '04 3:10 AM

13. Bronwyn

no assigned seating? thats just asking for trouble.

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