Sunday, May 15, 2011

Airports and Line Jumping

At BWI the other day, I was standing in line to check in at Southwest Airlines. There were at leat 40 people in line with me.

A woman runs up to the front of the line with her two teenage daughters and says "my plane is leaving in 45 minutes, can I go?"

The agent says, "you'll need to ask everyone in line."

So, she sort of yells out, "is it ok if I go ahead of you?"

A few people (myself included) were annoyed.

I mean, what are we going to say, "No!" Or, is she going to listen even if we did?

She's late and we should pay for that?

Look, stuff happens. You get a flat tire. I get that, but what if 20 people in a row do that?

What if the 40th person in line, who would have made it otherwise, now misses her plane because we let someone go ahead of us?

I don't know what the right answer is here: Be human and let someone else not have the hassle of missing a plane (thoughtful, sensitive) or ask the question, "are we rewarding the wrong behavior as a society, if we let people do this?"
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