Airport Etiquette

By Lucy Diamond

Since being asked to write for AYWW, I’m finding that looking at the world through an AYWW lense is surreal. I’m still weirded out by my last blog for AYWW regarding billions of $’s spent by the Spanish government, during their present economic depression, on submarines that won’t surface against enemies they don’t have.  It’s easier for me to write “gorgeous,” 1st world travel articles.

Having just traveled over three continents in the past four weeks, I am again left weirdedout after seeing the world through my AYWW lense. First, passing through airports in Dubai then Turkey then Germany then Chicago and finally Santa Barbara, I must have seen/passed/bumped into/excused myself/helloed thousands of people. Not just people but really, really different sorts of people. More keffiyehs than I could count, quite a few bishts. In one case a plethora of niqābs with no shortage of hijabs. But does anything quite stop you like Turkish oil wrestlers wearing the kisbet? Maybe a time-disoriented German stop over, feeling exhausted wearing your bedhead and finding early, early morning beer drinking Bavarians in lederhosen?

When I looked more closely at people, their faces, their eyes, their demeanor so much more was suggested as shared humanity, whatever their clothing. From physical and soul beauty to physical and soul ugly, and all the nuanced variations in between YET everybody was getting along while moving along in their own lives. Ah, universal, unspoken, evolving airport etiquette. Granted, on one flight, I sat in the midst of a group of men and women, all seeming to travel together, given their family resemblance, who had obviously not had a chance to bathe in the past two years. Many of my co-passengers were having problems breathing but we quietly persevered, some better than others, to our next destinations.

So, here’s the weird. Once you get through airport security, everyone seems able to get along, while moving along in their lives. Airport security is needed for some small group of lunatics that just won’t let the other billions of us simply get along, while moving along with our lives. Once in the terminal, all is good. Personal hygiene would be nice, kids can get crabby, grandparents move slowly but no matter how you are dressed, what you eat or drink – which is important in some places – and especially what God or gods you worship, where or when makes absolutely no difference to anyone needing to just move along, while getting along in their life. I’m including obvious orthodox individuals of conflicting orthodoxies, all getting along, while moving along in their lives in the airport. So, lunatics outside the terminal, beyond security, stop wasting so much of our blood and wealth. Really, lunatics, you too can adopt airport etiquette. Simply get along, while moving along in your lives. It’s not complicated. Billions are now and already have accomplished airport etiquette outside of airport terminals.

Please everyone SIGN the AYWW U.N. Petition on the AYWW website. Let’s at least get August 27 globally recognized as the day our grandparents, before airport etiquette existed, hoped for all of us to simply get along while moving along with our lives. To sign the petition, please go to ayww.org/petition.