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20-40-60 Etiquette---Now boarding



 By Callie Athey, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: I travel a lot. I find getting a seat on an aircraft is nearly akin to fighting for Black Friday shopping deals. Because adults can’t behave, the airlines do it the kindergarten way - - they organize loading planes by groups or zones.

A real rogue tested my patience at Will Rogers Airport as I was standing in my designated Group 3 line. He wanted to cut in front of me because his Group 1 had already boarded.  Should I have let him or told him to go to the end of the line because everyone gets a seat?


CALLIE’S ANSWER: I would have let him go in front of me; don’t sweat the little stuff. I am over people STILL not knowing what to do in the security line. Come on people, get with it!


LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: In a new ad campaign, American Airlines is suggesting that it’s up to all of us to make our flights bearable:


“Always upbeat, great fliers make the best of their situation no matter where they’re sitting,” one print ad says, according to the New York Times.


The campaign suggests that the “world’s greatest fliers” ask fellow passengers before raising or lowering the window shade, that they like babies but bring noise-canceling headphones, that they let the middle passenger have the armrest, etc.


“Their mood contributes to the mood of the flight,” reads the TV ad referring to these fliers.


Since your mood contributes to the flight’s success, then let it go. Really, just let it go anyway. It’s not a huge deal. If it mattered so much that he made the effort to get a Group 1 seat and asked you if he could cut in line since he was running late, then let him go ahead of you. It might be irritating and you might not feel as upbeat as the ads suggest (especially if you aren’t flying the airline that wants you to think their passengers are awesome), but he did have Group 1 on his ticket. And you had Group 3. Let the airline handle things if necessary.


HELEN’S ANSWER: It is not your job to monitor the lines and letting him go ahead was probably in your best interest.


Just use common sense and manners, because everyone boarding should have a seat if they have a ticket.


We should know the rules by now. Don’t board if it is not your turn! And check with the ticket taker to see if it is possible to go ahead and board if you missed your turn.


The person at the desk might turn the traveler back to the end of the line as he pushes forward and your fellow passengers who are trying to follow the instructions and board in order might have something to say too.


GUEST’S ANSWER: Nathan Poppe, entertainment writer and LOOKatOKC editor: If you travel a lot then you should be savvy on how to avoid landing in Group 3.


I’m not saying people in Group 1 are better, but they got there for a reason. Maybe in that instance you weren’t able to check in early but this rogue traveler clearly has the upper hand. Not only did he score Group 1 status but also he’s one question away from cutting in front of you. He might as well be drinking your complimentary, in-flight beverage at this point. I wouldn’t suggest making direct eye contact with this bold individual.


A Group 3’er questioning a Group 1’er is a recipe for a scene. Airports are already dreadful enough. Everyone already knows where the end of the line is, and he’s not interested in going there.


Point him in the direction of the ticket checker. Or ask him how he bested you, then write down every word of his advice.

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

Lillie-Beth Brinkman

Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman Read more ›

Callie Athey

Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a... Read more ›