BOSTON (CBS) — They say travel is how you learn, and a during a few days on the road over the holiday, I feel like I got a seminar in unfortunate human behavior.

Class began in a crowded terminal waiting area, where your path down the aisle is blocked by people spreading out their stuff and themselves like they’re camping for a week. You can stand there as long as you like waiting for them to clear the way – their electronic devices are rendering the world invisible.

When boarding time comes, it is made crystal clear to everyone over age two that we will board in order as our groups are called.

But oh, those short attention spans! There is a frantic clustering at the gate, again blocking access. And the handful I saw repelled by the attendants for trying to jump the line didn’t seem bothered.

No walk of shame for them!

But it’s on the plane that the most life-affecting lessons are taught.

If you’re in an aisle seat when others are still boarding, you must be hyper-vigilant to avoid head injury from new arrivals wielding their bags like they’re clearing underbrush with a scythe. I took careful notes when I saw folks ignore the sight of bags placed in the overhead bin nose first and stuff theirs in sideways, because what is shared public space for if not to be aggressively hogged?

And then, the final educational horror – the plane reaches the gate, and the faculty leap to their feet and grab their bag so they can stand there for ten minutes with nowhere to go.

Is it a sort of standing ovation for the pilot and crew, minus the ovation?

Yes, you learn a lot when you travel – like how some people never learn.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (3)
  1. You must be new to this, that is everyday behavior, every flight, every airline, every airport.

  2. Ann Wallace says:

    How about the white-haired passengers who arrive in wheelchairs to get preferential boarding because of their incapacity and then leap up when we reach our destination and practically mow you down so that they can get off first and run past the attendant standing outside the plane with their ride.
    Or the big guy that suggests that you climb over him (I’m a woman) to get to your window seat (no, thank you).

    My favorite is all those people with their oversized carry-ons ( who are too cheap to pay the fee for a checked bag) gambling that the gate agent will announce that the flight is full and there isn’t enough room for all their luggage, so if 10 or 12 or 20 passengers want to gate check their “carry-ons” it will be “complimentary”.
    I bearly tolerate flying.

  3. So sad the way society behaves or misbehaves. Manners are bread into people. They just don’t appear. To some degree the airlines should take more responsibility. I see people boarding with bags that are TOO big or better TWO bags that are two big. NOTHING is done to stop this. WHY are we still paying for bags any how. It is a safety issue having so many in the compartments over head. Then there are the passengers in row 28 but pop their bag over row 4???? where is row 4 suppose to put their bag ROW 28???? Common on airline personnel do a better job of monitoring and enforcing rules. AND when the safety information is being read by the staff BE QUIET and listen. I know you know it ALL but it is RUDE to be speaking while these employees are talking and trying to tell you about SAFETY issues. Have better MANNERS

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