While you read this, I’ll be well on my way to Missouri (if you’re fast enough). I’ll have visited already two different airports before I get to a country where air travel is actually not a pain: the States. Before y’all start whining in the comments about this one time where a flight was delayed for hours: I’m talking fellow travellers. For me, Americans are an example when it comes to travelling.
Travel comes with quite some collateral damage. If travelling would be just about the stories afterwards, everyone would do it. In fact, most of the time travelling isn’t getting from point A to point B, it’s waiting for the opportunity to do so*. You’re in line for checking in, border control and immigration, the gate, the lavatory, exiting the plane and getting your bags off baggage claim. People all over the world hate waiting in line. Still, waiting in line with Americans beats any European people I’ve ever met.
Americans (I’ll be taking stories about exceptions in the comments) respect queues and rules. When a plane lands in Amsterdam, people react in a very different way than when the landing takes place in Chicago. In the former, people start calling relatives, acquintances and total strangers when the first wheel hits the ground. By the time the overall speed of the vehicle has reached anything under 60 mph, everyone (including the window seats) stands up, takes their carry-on baggage from the overhead compartments and starts pushing towards the door. As a rule of thumb: if you’re Dutch and chose a seat in the back, you should push twice as hard as when you would’ve sat in the front. American planes have their one or two annoying people that call once the plane reaches the gate, but the leaving procedure is perfect. People in the first row get up, get their stuff and while they’re walking out, row 2 gets up, get their stuff etc. It will be a delight to land in Chicago once again.
I would like to invite everyone to post their horror travel stories in the comment section. Ready? Set? GO!
*This is not an actual statistic, but a made-up number to improve this particular blog post.