The hubster and I recently flew to my former stomping grounds to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones. As we waited in the airport security line before winging our way westward (thankfully avoiding intrusive pat-downs and the “naked x-ray scanners”), I noted with gratitude that the travelers in line ahead of us went through security efficiently and calmly. Some even smiled during the process. They helped make the experience a positive one for the rest of us because they had good attitudes about the process. This travel experience encouraged me to consider how being a pleasant and organized traveler can impact others…and that’s what we’ll explore together today.

Pleasant Travelers Make a Difference…

Some travelers were running late and clearly hadn’t had time to unearth a one-quart bag in which to place their 3-ounce bottles of liquids. Other travelers were juggling carry-on luggage, tired children, hefty strollers, large car seats, and sticky sippy cups all at o’dark-thirty in the morning. And yet, their pleasant demeanors, patience with the process, and expressions of courtesy toward other travelers made all the difference. They were a help to all of us because they did the following three things:

  • They went with the flow. If they knew they’d take more time getting through security, they encouraged others to jump in line in front of them if need-be.
  • They were cheerful. They wished others a happy Thanksgiving, and were generally polite and good-natured.
  • They got organized pronto. These travelers found their boarding passes and 3-ounce liquids, and shed their shoes and coats in a hurry as they approached the front of the security line.

Organized Travelers Make a Difference, Too…

The organized travelers in front of us went through security with ease and helped those in line behind them. When all was said and done, they did the following three things:

  • They knew the Transportation Security Administration’s policies. Before getting to the front of the security line, they stowed their liquids in 3-ounce bottles in one-quart bags. When it was time to do so, they removed shoes and overcoats without being asked. If they had water bottles, they let the TSA representatives know that their bottles were empty. In short, they were prepared.
  • They packed their electronics and associated wires neatly and accessibly. When asked to remove various cables and electronic devices from their protective bags, the travelers ahead of us had their power cables neatly coiled and their devices ready for the x-ray machine – which was a time saver for them and the rest of us waiting in line.
  • They were pleasant. They greeted the TSA representatives cordially. They patiently waited for the people in front of them to finish their safety check-point “dress down” adventures. They helped those in line behind them by handing out the TSA’s bins so others could put their belongings through the x-ray machine in a timely manner.

Moral of the story: whether you’re traveling by train, plane, automobile, or foot this holiday season consider how being an organized and pleasant traveler will positively impact others. Enjoy!

* Image by Jane Cleary