When we returned from Monterey, California recently on American Airlines, we had no problems with people wearing masks or on-time arrivals or departures. However, there were many self-important people (SIPs) and very important pets (VIPs).
On the flight between Monterey and Phoenix, we had three very well-behaved lap dogs and one cat that kept meowing “Why?” the entire hour-long flight. One dog belonged to two SIPs who carried more luggage than they could handle and felt that they were entitled to take up as many bins in the small regional jet as was required. Of course, that meant that they held up planing and deplaning so that they could accommodate the entitlements they felt they deserved.
In the Phoenix airport, one first-class couple (talking about the seats they purchased, not the quality of their behavior) crashed the line nudging aside people already in line out of the way. They made a to be heard comment about priority boarding not being announced yet at the same time that Priority 1 boarding was clearly displayed on the Gate marquee. Even they had to wait for the wheel-chair passengers and one VIP parent to finish getting into their seats.
Walking around the Charlotte airport, I saw more dogs on leashes than children walking with their parents. (In case the above sentence is too ambiguous, I saw no children on leashes or harnesses.)
While we were in Charlotte, awaiting the plane to Charlottesville, we saw one woman with two immaculately behaved Italian greyhounds. She had a large fuzzy throw for the dogs to rest on, a pillow, an overfilled tote bag, and a pair of dogs on a leash. Both dogs (a male and a female) had velcroed pads or supports about their lower backs. I’m not sure if it was to prevent puddles or protect the nervous, fragile dogs’ hips and lower back. She and the dogs boarded ahead of time–I’m guessing she needed more time to board with that much to organize.
The final SIP was a large man who held up the line because he thought he had lost the cellphone he had just been gazing at, announced that someone must be sitting in his seat (despite an empty aisle seat in his row), and as soon as he took his seat asked if he could use the bathroom before the plane left the gate. Once he wedged himself into the bathroom, he couldn’t figure out how the doors opened so that he could get out. The bi-fold door folded in and he was trying to force the door outward. He immediately chatted up the young woman sitting next to him, bragging about his golf game, despite her telling him that she did not play golf. When the flight attendant asked us our drink preferences, he asked for a double Scotch and water, which he never finished because he continued to chat up his young seatmate for the entire flight.
When we finally got to the Charlottesville airport, one young coed felt she no longer needed to wear her mask while waiting for the luggage to appear. Her boyfriend kept his mask on.