Leaving an Airplane, May 10, 2019
I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO). I’ve always found boardings and deboardings of the planes the most fascinating times to observe human behavior.
Boarding the plane folks are dragging their heavy bags with rollers onto the plane and packs on their backs. They are all looking for bin space.
The air stewards are shouting at them, “Take any open bin space you see for your bags! The bins in the back are full!”
I’m sitting in my seat on the aisle and I see the pageantry go by with all their gear, their buds in their ears, their Starbucks coffee cups, the Asians wearing their gauze face masks (lots of Chinese from both San Francisco and China fly to Las Vegas to gamble.) I see the kids with their toys.
But it all goes very quickly to me as folks know that they have to be seated to leave and get onto where they want to go.
The white folks tend to dress very poorly for economy class, but the white folks in first class dress well, but also bring lots of carry on baggage that they lift into the overhead bins. They are also slow to leave the plane on deboarding, as they act like privileged white folks who don’t notice the peons behind them in economy.
Deboarding is a more leisurely affair. Some folks just sit in their seats and wait for the madness of leaving the plane to be over.
Others clamber to the front of the line worrying about their connecting flights.
Americans are pretty friendly. If an elderly woman is having a hard time putting her huge carry on bag into an overhead bin, a young man will always assist her.
My question always is, “Why did this old woman bring on a wheeled carry on bag (or two) that Tarzan would have a tough time lifting?”
My last trip home from Las Vegas I flew economy plus class on United. I had to take a pee when I got onboard so I slogged my way to the back of the plane as it was being boarded. When I got out of the lavatory, I was next to an ancient white United stewardess. She could barely close the overhead bins.
I said to her, “I haven’t flown economy in a long time. It’s a trip.”
She replied, “Oh, it’s a trip all right.”