Saturday, 4 September 2010

Airport TV shows

You know, when there's a reality police show presented by some testosterone-boosted tooth-enhanced ex-Sheriff type, it starts with a load of legal boilerplate along the lines of "We're not showing this to entertain you (heaven forfend!), it's to educate you on what goes wrong when you break the law and run away from the cops afterwards."

But funnily enough, airport shows don't. The endless capacity of would-be passengers to admit the fault of anyone but themselves never ceases to amaze me. They probably watch the programmes at home, and jeer at the arrogant jerks who think that every rule will bend in the face of a loud enough complaint - then they arrive at Gatport Airwick (I might have got that wrong) and turn into just the same kind of clueless bozo they so despised last night.

So I thought, why not have some boilerplate for airport shows instead? Here's mine. Imagine the opening titles, and Sheriff Teeth (Ret'd) intoning this over them:

1. If you arrive at check-in after it's closed, it's closed, regardless of how inconvenient it is for you. The pilot has uplifted fuel for the calculated takeoff weight. The hold luggage is on its way, or already loaded. Every minute you spend harranguing staff and demanding to shout at superiors reduces your chance of getting a free ticket change. Oh, and the airport staff can't issue a refund. Get over it, and accept a later flight, or give up and go home. You choose.

2. If you roll up to check-in having chased ten beers with half a bottle of Smirnoff, don't expect to be accepted onto your flight. If you get rescheduled to a much later flight, and decide to drown your sorrows in the bar with something a bit more alcoholic than espresso, don't be surprised if you get refused later, too. Permanently. Just lie down, point your feet at your destination, and light your breath. You'll stand a better chance of getting there.

3. Don't expect an airline to accept your bus pass as a valid identity document. Nor your driving licence, nor the passport that's been through the washing machine, the tumble drier, and finally had its photo page steam-ironed.

4. You are not your sister, nor your brother, nor your cousin, not your deceased granny. The picture on that passport doesn't even look the same species as you, much less the same gender, and it expired years ago, as did its former holder. Under precisely which circumstances did you expect the check-in staff to accept it?

5. The hold luggage limits are stated, clearly, on the website through which you booked your tickets. There isn't an airline in the world that will accept your 120kg travel trunk, so undo the straps and tell your big sister to climb out. And no, you can't take her on board as cabin luggage.

Now travel safely, folks!

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