In spite of some tough weather in the Northeast and elsewhere this spring, the design and construction world is in full swing. Everyone is busy. If you’re like me, that means you travel for your job. Most weeks in the year find me going somewhere — usually by air — and as most of you know, the experience can be stressful. Every plane seems full, lines are long, and delays often put us in a bind. And it isn’t helped by those who don’t seem to have a clue about air travel etiquette. Here are a few simple tips to make life easier for all of us.
Check-in kiosk — Even though you may be overwhelmed, please don’t crowd the other passengers. They want to check in, too. Get your bags out of the way so someone can get to the machine next to yours.
Security — When your stuff comes out the other end of the machine, don’t stop right there to put on your shoes and belt. Move your stuff to the end of the conveyor. And when you’re done, stack your bin.
Moving walkway — Stand right, walk left. Don’t block the walking lane just because you’re tired.
Gate agents — Don’t yell at them if your flight is cancelled. No one did this to you deliberately. The airlines cannot control the weather. Equipment does break. Thank God someone noticed and is fixing it. Be patient!
On the plane — Don’t get on late and be shocked there’s no room for your giant bag. Don’t sit in a bulkhead seat and then put your bag under your seat. That space is for the person behind you. Don’t put your bag in the back of the plane and then think you’ll be able to retrieve it after the plane lands and get back to your seat to de-plane in seat order. Not going to happen. And do wait for the people in front of you to get off.
Cellphones — Do not sit in your seat and talk loudly! Ditto for the gate area. We don’t all need to know the details of the meeting you just had.
As I write this, I’m on a plane heading to Austin, Texas, to see a new client, BIG RED DOG Engineering. Love their name; you won’t forget them! (We selected the firm’s CEO, Will Schnier, P.E., as a 2016 Rising Star in Civil Engineering.) This is another great issue of Civil + Structural Engineer. Please read it and pass it on!
Mark C. Zweig (firstname.lastname@example.org)