x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Flying with idiots

I bet if someone started taking measurements with a special moron meter, the arrow would start shooting towards "massively dim" the second it is pointed at the check-in desk.

There's something about airports, and flying in general, that brings out the real idiot in people. I'm not sure if any studies have been undertaken, but I bet if someone started taking measurements with a special moron meter, the arrow would start shooting towards "massively dim" the second it is pointed at the check-in desk.

Obviously, buffoons are scattered liberally across our everyday lives, but in airports, there just seems to be a far higher density, resulting in some outright forehead-slappingly worthy displays of stupidity for all to see.

On numerous occasions, I've seen individuals appear utterly dumbfounded when stopped at security control attempting to pass off umpteen bags and boxes as hand luggage. And then there are those who somehow manage to sneak their monster-sized bag onboard and just can't believe it when there isn't room in the overhead lockers to squeeze it in.

I once had a confused-looking gentleman ask me whether the check-in queue we had both been standing in for the past 30 minutes was for the flight on his ticket. It wasn't. His had left about 15 minutes earlier. I'm not sure what he did with his two trolleys of boxes.

Perhaps it's something to do with the air pressure, but once aboard the plane, the situation just seems to get worse. Surely one of the most pointless roles in existence is the moment upon boarding when the flight attendant takes your ticket and tells you your seat number, which is written in giant black letters on the front. I can understand the guy at passport control reading your name out - don't respond quick enough and you could well be an impostor. But telling you your seat number, which you can clearly see on the stub you are holding in your hand, just seems silly.

Yet somehow - despite pointing out the complete obvious - people still seem to get it wrong. On at least five different occasions, I've found somebody sitting in my seat, and when I've politely shown them my ticket, they've looked at me like I've just spat on their children. Only after a great deal of fuss and tutting would they eventually move, each time staring at me incredulously as if I'm some sort of despicable individual intent solely on ruining their holiday.

And then, of course, there's landing. We can forgive (just) those who clap on arrival - perhaps they're not particularly good flyers and genuinely didn't think they'd make it? But someone please shoot (OK, don't shoot, just pull faces at) those who get up and start opening the lockers the second one wheel has touched the runway. For all their impatience and desperation to disembark before anyone else - up to the point of practically clambering over their neighbours if they're not in aisle seats - you can almost guarantee you'll see them again at the carousel.