After having traveled so many miles covering agricultural news stories over these past 25 years I am rarely surprised by things I see at airports. However, I just witnessed a woman walking her well-dressed toy poodle through Concourse A at Denver International Airport. Big deal, right? People take their pets with them many places. The difference, you see, is that the woman was carrying hot pink tissue paper which she was using to pick up the dogs feces that he was leaving on the carpeted floor at Gate 22 where there were also several small children sitting on the floor playing with their stuffed animals.
Once seated in the aisle seat at the back of the big Frontier jet headed from Denver to Kansas City, I buckled in and settled in for the trip. I knew the kick in my lower back came from the 5 or 6 year old little girl in the seat behind me. After several more kicks, I turned around and said to the little girl’s mother who was sitting in across the aisle from her daughter, “I’m getting kicked in the back.” The woman laughed and said, “Oh, she does that to me all the time in the car.” She didn’t suggest to the little girl to stop kicking me. After 5 more kicks, I asked the mother to ask her daughter to stop. She did. But the little girl just giggled and went to work with both feet against the back of my seat. The mother laughed and said, “Oh, Bethany.” And the father, seated in the middle seat beside the little girl joined in the laughter. It was an uncomfortable ride back to Kansas City, made more uncomfortable when the little girl would reach up over the back of my seat to pull my hair.
Seriously? The little girl was old enough to read her book aloud and argue with the flight attendant about how much ice she wanted in her apple juice. No doubt in my mind who runs the show in that household..
Upon arrival in Kansas City, I walked to the luggage carousel and stood by a back wall, waiting for the suitcases from my flight to be unloaded from the airplane and on to the conveyor belt. As the luggage appeared on the belt, people began to gather around as near the belt as possible, making it impossible for anyone except those standing close to see. A 6-foot tall, nicely dressed business man in his 40′s planted himself right in front of me. I am not quite 5’3″.
Being “patted down” by security in Sacramento was no big deal. Some metal decoration on my shirt and pants had set off an alarm. The agent offered to tell me everything she was doing as her gloved hands felt under my arms and around my legs. I told her I understood what she was doing and why she was doing it, so she didn’t have to do that. She did say, “This is the back of my hand touching your tookus,” and then apologized for saying “tookus.” I laughed.
“You’re free to go, Sparkles,” she said. My choice of clothing had caused no more than a 2-minute delay.
I’m sure anyone who has traveled has a horror story to tell. Lost luggage. Missed connections. If people would only show some common courtesy, air travel might actually be fun again.