Summer time at Eindhoven airport is rush hour. Transavia, RyanAir, WizzAir… all budget flights are jam-packed with people on their way to sunny holiday destinations. As cheap as possible, of course. That’s also counting myself by the way, I’m also on my way to a sunny destination, even though I can call it home instead of holiday. Oh well, maybe both. Anyway, the point is that the woman talking through the speakers works overtime. Calling flight after flight, gate after gate, she is immediately being obeyed by nervous travelers hastily making their way to their gate. The ones already sitting at the gate anxiously abandon their seats to form an awkward line that’s completely blocking the thoroughfare between gates and food corner.

Before, especially when flying RyanAir, I understood that somewhat.

Boarding the plane first, meant first choice in seats, or so we thought at least. However, after boarding late on a flight to Faro once, I found myself with stretched legs across three seats because the cabin crew had urged everyone before me on to the back of the plane, leaving plenty of space for those who boarded last. The lesson the people in the back of the cabin learned that day was to never try to bypass the system by trying to act smart. Anyhow, it doesn’t even matter anymore today though, because everyone has been assigned a seat, so why bother to be the first to board the plane?

Because the Dutch think they can do everything faster and better.

They don’t wanna wait for their fellow passengers, they don’t wanna wait for lengthy procedures, they don’t wanna wait for nothing. They are so fast and good at everything, that they are surely allowed to bypass all annoyances, to take a seat first, carefully arrange e-reader, magazines and laptops, and then wait in all comfort for the rest of the ignorant plebs.

Usually, the contrary of their self image is true.

Taking a seat first in that still empty plane often leads to taking the wrong seat, because interpreting seat numbers always proves difficult. Trying to quickly switch seats to sit next to a friend or family member (ignoring the flight attendant’s “please, after take-off madam”) means working your way against the steady stream of incoming passengers. And arranging e-readers, magazines and laptops has often become irrelevant because you usually need to hand in your cabin suitcase before boarding anyway. Because yes, there are more likeminded people traveling with handbagage only, there are more people trying to switch seats, there are more people trying to do things faster and better than anyone else.

In fact, there are so many people doing the exact same “clever” things,

that flights actually get delayed because of them. Because people are so concerned only with themselves, with getting everything right before take-off (as if the x-hour flight doesn’t allow you enough time to do so), that boarding is going too slow. So slow, that airplanes miss the “slot” of take-off time they are cleared for and have to wait for another time slot. And now you can guess who these people blame when thát happens. Because you know, if they had been in charge, things would have gone much faster and better.

To be continued. // Read the previous part about the airport security here.

boarding a plane

Transavia airplane window view above Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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