Top 11 Rules for the Traveling Executive (and Everyone Else)

I’m taking a break from the topic of leadership this week. As Denver has become one of the world’s busiest airports and I travel frequently, I thought it’d be a good time to document what I alone know to be the most critical travel rules. Others may have opinions, but I believe mine were memorialized on the back side of Moses’ tablet. (I also created the penultimate rules for ski lift lines and grocery shopping, in case you’re interested.)

1               Don’t stop at the top or bottom of the escalator. For any reason. Even if you forgot your child on the train or your rental car.

2               If you abruptly stop or turn when walking in a busy concourse, you’ll create a pile up. It’s just like leaving your grocery cart in the middle of the isle! Pretend you’re driving on a busy street in your car.

3               If your mother wouldn’t let you wear it, you probably shouldn’t get on a plane looking like that!

4               Don’t ask, “Is this Group 1 (or 2 or 3).” The responder can only answer for themself. 

5               When standing in a long line (for example, a ticket counter, security, or boarding), don’t chat about the weather, your grandkids, or the existence of God with the person in control of the line unless you’re the last guy in line.

6               Don’t wear perfume or cologne the day you fly. Your partner may appreciate an overwhelming dose of lilac with a hint of motor oil but most of us don’t. And don’t even get me started on lack of bathing!

7               Don’t be abusive to the flight crew. It’s not only rude, but they can mess with you. It’s kind of like provoking Santa Claus or the IRS. 

8               Only have a phone conversation after boarding if it’s your best friend’s last day on earth. If your best friend is a cat, this does not apply.

9               If you discover that your seatmate is your soulmate, remember that folks around you who didn’t pack noise cancelling headsets must listen to your conversation about something only you two care about. Talk softly or schedule a playdate for later.

10            I’m writing this on the airplane and have an aisle seat.  I’ve now been “thwacked” with two backpacks by spatially unaware folks when they turned while walking. If you can’t walk a straight line, check your luggage!

11            There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who think moving sidewalks exist so that you don’t burn off the calories from your last Twinkie and those who correctly believe that they exist to speed up transportation. If you’re the Twinkie guy, for heaven’s sake move to the right and take your luggage with you!

I see another backpack coming and need to take cover!

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