The problem with landing in Minneapolis is that it takes everyone a million years to get off the plane. Everyone is too busy being polite and telling others to “go ahead.” I know I’m not exactly ahead of the curve when it comes to globe-trotting (this has just been made obvious by the example of actually using the word “globe-trotting.”) But this past weekend was the first time I had traveled alone. Luckily, my departure from Minneapolis to Boston and then back again didn’t have any complications. Ironically enough, I was seated next to a kid named Danny who was also traveling alone. He sat there in his middle seat, telling me how he thinks seventh grade is going to be “chill” and how much he hates the Yankees. Naturally we bonded. He also had a mohawk that all the flight attendants were giving him shit for, so we crafted some smart-ass responses that we’d never actually say back to them.
My dad travels constantly for work, and he knows the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport like Paula Deen knows bad PR. So we talked over a few things (my dad and me, not Paula Deen and me, ya’ll) before I headed off to my Boston excursion.
1. Don’t worry if you forget to put your liquids into Ziplock bags. Most airports, MSP included, offer plastic bags at security for you.
2. It’s super easy to just get your boarding pass sent to your phone. You don’t have to worry about losing a ticket, and that smartphone is glued to your hand anyway. (The security line is also usually faster if you do it this way.)
3. If someone is picking you up from the airport (and you only have carry-on luggage), meet them at the departure doors instead of around baggage claim/arrivals. There isn’t nearly as much traffic, and you’ll get out of the airport way quicker.
4. Ninety minutes is usually a good amount of time to be at the airport before your flight is scheduled to take off. Having too much time to sit at your gate leads you to linger over the magazines, and you begin to truly contemplate if that is the best bikini for your body, or you find yourself taking a stance on sexting after you were enlightened by a Cosmo quiz.
5. Remember your phone charger. Remember your phone charger. Remember your phone charger. Dude. Seriously.
I know a lot of this isn’t going to be new information to you guys. But wanna know something else I learned at the airport? There are a lot of slow-moving (both mentally and physically) people at the airport. Many of them are so enamored with the fact that there’s something called Chili’s Too that they can’t see the traffic jam they’re causing. There are people chasing their kids – who you’re praying you don’t get sat next to on the plane – and bribing them with Frosty and Subway sandwiches that cost 11 percent more than they do anywhere else. Babies are riding suitcases like they’re horses and businessmen are cutting you in line at Starbucks because they have much more important things to attend than you. Being in an airport is like being in a sub-culture. There are ways you act and ways you do not; some things make the cut and some do not. Help everybody out and be aware of your surroundings — that’s the most important part about being in any setting by yourself.