SIPs and VIPs

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.

29 thoughts on “SIPs and VIPs”

  1. American Airlines isn’t enforcing its own rules. It has rules that pets must be in kennels on planes unless they are registered as service animals. The rules also only permit one carry-on item in addition to a kennel. After the change eliminating emotional support animals and requiring kennels I haven’t seen any pets on planes and few in the airport.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your post reminds me why I’m okay with hardly ever travelling. The destination has to be super-special to be worth all the trouble. All the security stuff after 9/11 was bad enough, but now we have the pandemic and all those SIPs!

    Liked by 3 people

          1. It must be the same in France because I remember having a meal in a restaurant once, when on the next table to us was a couple and a dog who had his own chair at the table.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I love that one, Malc. Other than spoiled little white yappy dogs (usually owned by retirees) being held on a lap to eat from the owner’s fingers, I’ve never seen a dog have his own seat at a table at a restaurant. I have seen oblivious parents continue with their cocktails and conversation while their infants screamed for attention or their ambulatory children ran around the restaurant causing mayhem and mischief for both the waitstaff and the other diners. I am not surprised to report that the worst cases were in various cities in California.

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  3. LOL, GP. I think that you are on to something. Unlike Walmart, everybody I observed wore the correct size. I have a girlfriend, originally from Ohio, who says she is afraid when she sees those pictures of Walmart shoppers that it may be some of her family,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Train travel can be better than plane travel. We have one allegedly fast train in the US, Acela in the northeast corridor. I took it once from DC to Boston. The engine died 5 miles out of Boston (heading back to DC) so we sat in the 20 degree F January chill until another engine could be attached. Because we were late, we missed our window for all of the stations, our 6 hour journey became a twelve hour journey and we never got reimbursed the price difference from Amtrak.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Agree, Andrea. While I realize the need, I am not a fan of wearing a mask for hours on end. I am also not a fan or people who feel entitled either because or because the last year was so rough of them (and the rest of us).

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