My mind abruptly woke me up from a sound sleep thinking I was late and going to miss my early morning flight. Thankfully, it was only 2 a.m. I still had 2 more hours to sleep.
When my alarm finally did go off at 4 a.m., I woke quickly and went through my morning routine. Forty-five minutes later I was on the highway traveling to the airport. It was a typical business travel day.
Surprisingly, the parking garage was very busy. I had not expected this Wednesday morning at 5:30 in the morning to be busy with travelers. I was wrong. There were so many people waiting for a shuttle to the airport that I had to wait until a second shuttle came. Shuttles run frequently so the wait was not long.
I was the fourth person on the second shuttle. There was a family of five behind me in line and another family of four had walked up to the side of us while we waited. I was surprised to see that family of four get on the shuttle before the family of five. Apparently, those parents had not learned to wait in line.
The mother of the family of five got to sit on the last seat on the shuttle. If she would not have been allowed to stay on the bus, I was prepared to give up my seat. I was the only individual passenger and was plenty early so waiting for another shuttle would have been okay.
Those impolite parents (and the two kids were older teens so it’s not like they should have been stressed keeping track of wild toddlers) made me think about things people do that they should know better than to do.
My middle daughter is six years old and in kindergarten. She would have even noticed that those parents did not wait their turn.
Then, everything else I saw in the airport that day (I’m people watching at the airport while I write this) reminded me of things you should learn in kindergarten. Here are the things you should have learned in kindergarten to help you while traveling through airports.
1. How to stand in line – There is simply no excuse to cut in front of someone in line. It can be the line to get on a parking shuttle, the line in security, the line in the restroom or to board the plane. You learned in kindergarten that if you cut in line, someone will tell the teacher.
2. Be on time – Don’t get to the airport 30 minutes before takeoff and expect everyone to cater to your needs because you were late. Plan ahead and get to the airport on time. You learned in kindergarten that if you are late, you may get a checkmark next to your name on the chalkboard.
3. Know your letters and numbers – Boarding gates, flight numbers, etc. are based on numbers and letters. You can find the proper gate and make sure you’re on the right plane. The only excuse for a person who can see is if you don’t speak the language. You learned in kindergarten how to read letters and write numbers. Don’t ask at the gate if you’re in the right place. You can figure it out.
4. Sit still – Have you ever witnessed those people on airplanes who are up and down every couple of minutes? Unless there is no one else in your row on the plane, limit yourself to getting up once every two hours. You learned in kindergarten to raise your hand if you had to use the restroom. If you’re not careful, the flight attendants may invoke the same rule.
5. Talk quietly – Either in the airport or on the plane, talk quietly. There is no need to yell. There are others around you. You learned in kindergarten to use your inside voice when inside a building or enclosed area. If you insist on talking loud, the flight attendant might just make you put your head down on the tray table just like a teacher would make you put your head on your desk.
6. Don’t throw tantrums – Flights get delayed. Planes get overbooked. Coffee gets spilled. Nothing gives you the right to throw a tantrum. There is just no excuse to yell at an airline employee or another passenger. You learned in kindergarten to be respectful and keep your cool or you would get sent to the principal’s office. When traveling, instead of the principal’s office you could get sent to the TSA.
Traveling, especially through airports, can be an enjoyable experience. People who act like children who haven’t learned the basics of human interaction can make this experience not so great. Don’t be one of those people. Use what you learned in kindergarten.
Remember what your teachers and parents taught you (hopefully). Be polite. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Be respectful. Take deep breaths. I promise you’ll make it through.
Now it’s your turn to share. What other acts have you witnessed while traveling that people should have learned about in kindergarten? Please share below. If you have a story to go with it, please tell.