Seldom Fliers

Today was a long day of travel and seemed even longer because of a large number of ‘Seldom Fliers.’

We often here about frequent fliers, but I have decided that we need to have a term for people who do not fly very often.

What is the opposite of frequent? How about seldom?

I did do a google search and there are just a few instances over the last 12 years of  the term seldom fliers being used. The few instances are in travel forums or random travel articles. So it is definitely a term that is seldom used, but not original.

I used to refer to the same group as amateur fliers, but people thought I was talking about pilots.

United Club, airline club breakfast, strawberries, phone chargingFrequent fliers definitely get some perks like access to airline clubs, express lines at security or check-in. However, this is sometimes only the case when you are flying on an airline where you have priority.

Air Canada, Seldom Fliers, SFO, Airlines, Frequent Fliers

Today since I was flying on Air Canada I got a mix of benefits. I did get access to the United club, priority check-in and early boarding, but I missed one benefit that would have really been beneficial if I was flying on United. I would have had TSA Pre status which would have had me through security much quicker.

Getting through security when there is a bunch of seldom fliers is one of the biggest annoyances at the airport. That is my biggest gripes about flying during the holidays. Today was a double hit of spring break and the Easter weekend.

Seldom fliers take a long time to go through security. They often do not prep themselves for security. They have items in their pockets or they don’t pack their carry on luggage where they can quickly remove laptops or liquids. They may also wear jewelry that needs to be removed for metal detectors.

Seldom Fliers, Airport, Travel, International travel, security

I did have some priority while going through security as I went through the Gold line. However, the line was packed with families where one of the parents is a frequent flyer. Having to deal with strollers, small kids or teens who are not used to going through security made the line crawl.

Even just getting around the airport is painful when there are a lot of seldom fliers. People are unsure of where to go next or bunch up in high traffic areas not realizing what they are doing. There are also more groups of people who will walk together slowly through the terminal. Imagine a family of five with a stroller and two small kids dragging their carry on bags. They will not walk two by two or in single file. They will spread across a complete walk way slowing everything down.

I am just glad that I was not flying domestic as I am sure that there was a much higher percentage of seldom fliers than for an International flight.

Toronto Airport, dinosaur skeleton, royal Ontario museumMy flight was delayed as the aircraft was late to arrive, but we could have made it into the air quicker if it hadn’t of been for all the seldom flyers. The flight attendants were trying to get people to board quickly, but were not having much luck. Seldom fliers usually do not have the experience in staging their carry on bags so that they can quickly remove items they will need during the flight. The luggage bins were also not filled as efficiently leading to big delays as they were packed and re-packed as people tried to find space.

Hopefully the flight home will be better as Mondays are a good day to fly. The planes are usually full of business travelers who are more likely to be frequent fliers.

My biggest tip to seldom fliers: Be prepared

Steven

 

 

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One Response to Seldom Fliers

  1. Darlene and I have been frequent fliers since I worked for Eastern Air Lines (1968-72). Of course, 9/11 complicated departures. As frequent fliers, we typically qualify for expedited TSA short lines. (Her artificial hip and the plate/screws due to my broken clavicle slow us down somewhat.)

    We are efficient as we board/deplane. Flight attendants appreciate how we quickly take our seats, getting back up only to assist “specially-challenged” passengers struggling with overhead bins.

    We learned a long time ago how to travel with minimal luggage. Sometimes, we are amused by how much cruise passengers bring with them, requiring a porter/cart. We’ve cruised enough (Holland America Line) to qualify for complimentary laundry and don’t have use the washers/dryers on board. We also save “Goodwill” clothes to wear one last time, which leaves room for souvenirs.

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