April 6, 2007

The queuing game

Filed under: My Life — Allan @ 8:36 am

So yesterday afternoon after a mad dash in pre-holiday traffic to the airport to make my flight back to Cape Town on time, it was a case of sit around and wait.

Waiting in OR Tambo

What was really interesting though was sitting watching the queue for the boarding. Now I’m not a great one for standing in lines, so when I pitched up there with a few minutes to spare before boarding was supposed to start, I found myself a conveniant wall and had a seat.

At around 20 minutes before shceduled boarding, the line formed. And then scheduled boarding time came and went. Some people flagged and wandered off to sit down. Which excited the ones who remained because now they were closer to the front of the queue. Eventually, some dude in an official looking jacket came and told us that they didn’t have a crew and that as soon as the crew arrived, we’d be off. The queue remained. Standing.

Some time later they came and told us that they were waiting for a plane from Cape Town, and as soon as they arrived, the crew from that flight would hop across to our plane and we’d be off. Should be here in 15 minutes, boarding in 30. So some people wandered off for a smoke. And the masacist queue standers got even more excited and moved forward.

So by now we’ve been standing/sitting around for around an hour and it’s getting close to the time when they said we’d be boarding, and so the queue forms up again. All keen with bags in hand, staring expectantly at the somewhat bored looking controller guy by the boarding gate.

Another 20 minutes later we started boarding. So I slowly packed up my crap off the floor around me, wandered off to take a leak, and came back to the boarding gate. Where the line was still filtering through. I joined up with the back of the line and, after standing in a queue for around a minute in total, got on the plane.

Why do people insist on standing around in queues like that to board planes? You already have your seat allocation. If you’re by the boarding gate, they won’t leave without you. So it doesn’t really matter when you get on, as long as you do. Bizarre.


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