A few months ago, my husband and I went on a vacation to Israel -- a great trip, though it ended with a bit of an extra-long, unplanned detour in Turkey. The ups and downs of our flights to and from Tel Aviv reminded me that airlines and airports are very special places, where people tolerate much more than they would in the real world.
If the world were like an airline…
"Hey Sam, I know we called our lunch for 1 p.m. and it's 1:10 p.m. now. You're probably already at the restaurant but I just wanted to let you know that I won't actually be there until 2 p.m."
"Sorry, I meant 3 p.m."
"Actually, make that 4 p.m. You'll still be there, right?"
"Never mind, so sorry to do this but I actually have to cancel. Maybe we can try again tomorrow?"
"I know you're on the way to our meeting at Corner Bakery in Skokie that is scheduled for 10 minutes from now, but I'm going to need to move our meeting to Panera … in Iowa City. See you there!"
"Welcome to the doctor's office waiting room. We understand that you will be here with us for the next three to seven hours. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide you with any of the following: Wi-Fi, couches, two chairs next to each other, outlets. Instead, we are happy to provide you with limited food for purchase and an unlimited amount of hard, cold floor to sit on."
"We are so sorry for our delay in calling your number here at the DMV, causing you to be here for several hours. As a slight consolation, here's a voucher for the Dunkin' Donuts next door, please grab yourself a donut on us (if they accept the voucher … which they might not). Bon appetit!"
Luckily, we made it home safely, and of course we appreciate everything airlines do to keep their passengers safe. For now, I'll just be grateful that for the most part, the rest of the world does not operate on this kind of system.