I admit it; I am about to rant. You have a certain “Real” travel magazine to thank for that, for featuring the worst travel advice I ever came across as one of the “best travel tips” sent in by readers. It’s not in the latest issue, but I was so irritated at this “tip” that I just didn’t know what to do with it, since collecting and burning every copy of the issue turned out not to be feasible. So finally, I’m just going to take it on myself and tell travelers directly what a terrible idea it is. First, let’s see what you think:
“If you prefer to avoid checking baggage in the hold and would like to carry more liquids (for me it’s sun tan lotion and moisturizer) than would normally be allowed, get a doctor’s certificate saying that you need to be carrying them…that should get you through [security].”
Is it strange of me to be so intensely annoyed by such proud self-centeredness? Is it only because I work in the airline industry that I read this and can’t help but think what kind of
cringe-worthy person terrible passenger she must be?
Nobody likes security; nobody likes the liquid rules. But this lady thinks she’s so clever for working around the system because…she can’t live without her suntan lotion and moisturizer, yet also can’t be bothered to check her bag? Aside from the shallowness, where is she traveling that she cannot buy these things upon arrival? Even in Madagascar there was an array of high-end European brands in any corner pharmacy of the capital. If I were her doctor I’d be completely annoyed at such requests – certainly if she were going to go around telling everyone else to do that.
Can you imagine a security line full of these people? Here we go, waiting for everyone to get their bag pulled and hand-searched while they dig out their doctor’s notes to prove they need their freaking suntan lotion! Nooo, that’s ok lady. None of us have anywhere to go. By all means, we’ll all be happy to wait so that you don’t have to go to the corner store when you arrive or check your bag like the rest of us. Your moisturizer is just as important as mothers with breast milk and people with actual medicinal liquids, needles and steel plates screwed to their bones; we’ll just add you to their queue.
Am I over-reacting? Almost certainly. But I can’t imagine one scenario of this lady getting onto my airplane in which I
don’t distain certain elements of the first world am not in for a long, terrible flight. It’s more than that, of course. It’s that nothing irks me more than people who are proud of being vapid. Air travel is just one place where it rubs up against the rest of us. Am I wrong to suspect it is for people like this that The Economist prints articles about basic airplane manners? So, travelers: please don’t take this advice. It’s a terrible idea on so many levels. And if you see this lady waiting to get on your airplane, make sure you’re seated on the other side of the cabin. Your flight attendants will be steering well clear.