Here at Uproxx, we love to travel. Meaning we love to go places all around the world that are not our homes. But the actual “traveling” part — waiting in line, sitting too close to chatty, drunk, or smelly humans, being told that all the pilots disappeared when the plane flew through some sort of wormhole — can be pretty tiresome. Even for the most seasoned traveler, days of racing from one flight to the next are exhausting, annoying, and often filled with so much bureaucratic incompetence that it feels like the world of Catch-22 might not be a bad alternative.
While we will always marvel at the fact that that we can literally go to the other side of the world in LESS THAN A DAY, the small, entitled child in us still wants to whine about it. I mean ugh. Do we have to take off our shoes? And why the hell is turbulence delaying drink service? Yes, I’m out of my seat — I want a glass of Sauv Blanc now.
Though certain aspects of the whole flying experience are out of our control (blizzards! tiny seats! the smell the person before us left in the bathroom the one time we attempted the mile high club!), we can all make the process at least a little better for each other. Because, like most public spaces, there are some unwritten rules. A social contract that deserves to be honored. These are just general guidelines, of course. There are exceptions and, I know, I can’t make you do anything. I mean, I can use mind control to slowly and painfully force you to agree with me and also decide to bawk like a chicken every time you hear the word, ‘tomato.” But it’s a lot of work. So I’d rather you just like, read the article.
These are the dos and don’ts of air travel in the modern age.
1. DO get to the airport early.
You are a super seasoned traveler and (as such) have timed your trip down to the second. You know how many minutes it takes to get to the airport. You’re checked in. You have a sleek, small carry on in which you’ve packed exactly what you need and nothing more. You’ve never worn shoes. You require no liquids. You can unhinge your jaw and swallow your entire body so that you also fit compactly into the overhead bin. YOU ARE A TRAVELING GOD AND EVERYONE ELSE IS AN IDIOT IN COMPARISON. (The only competitor for the throne, in your mind, is George Clooney in Up In The Air — a movie which you often reference without ever understanding its themes.)
Why You Should Still Pad in Some Extra Time:
Bear with me here. As I said, I am aware of your traveling prowess. But, unfortunately, you are not the only person flying on any given day. And I remain convinced that 90 percent of our unpleasantness in airports could be solved by getting there 20-30 minutes early. Sure, you can’t always do that. Sometimes you’re rushing from work or hit terrible traffic on the way or whatever. But there are so many times when we could get there earlier but don’t, due to bad planning or laziness. Like knowing that if you take the 4 pm flight it’s going to be stressful getting there from work while booking the 5 would make things less so. Or packing the night before, or watching that new episode of Game of Thrones in your Lyft instead of at home…Just do whatever you need to do to leave 30 minutes earlier.
Because here’s the thing: When you have plenty of time, you care less. And when you’re not giving the dirty, eye-rolling sighs to every Tom, Dick, and Harry, they get less flustered and everyone has a more pleasant experience. What’s the worst case scenario of having to arrive a little earlier? You’re at your gate a tiny bit sooner? Embrace the non-frenzied life. Relax! Get a glass of wine. Read a magazine. Get the work done that you promised your partner you’d do before you left for the trip because this time you’re going to relax the whole trip, you swear. It’s going to make all of us feel a little more zen.