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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Frontsies?

Who doesn't remember that as a kid? Standing in lunch line at the cafeteria and a friend coming up to you to ask for frontsies, wanting to skip the long line and go in front of you? I remember also backsies, where you would tell them no, but they could get in line behind you. The problem with that game is if you allowed frontsies or backsies, they also cut in front of the line of everybody else behind you.


You would think that game would stop as an adult, wouldn't you? But it doesn't. Although I have never personally requested this since my grade school years, I have had it requested of me several times by adults. All of those times it has happened during my travels. Always by somebody who is in a hurry to catch a flight.


It actually happened twice to me on my recent flight to London. One of those times was during the deplaning. I was seated in first class, and I was the first one in line to exit the plane. A woman in business class came rushing through the first class section to exit, but I was already first in line and she ended up being second. She claimed she had a tight connection of only 20 minutes and asked if she could go in front of me. Well, our flight was delayed by about an hour so I knew it probably was a truthful statement. So I gave her fontsies as she was not skipping in front of anybody except for me.


The second time it happened was on the same trip. I was doing a flight transfer in London, but in doing so I had to go through the security checkpoint again. Well, I carry a lot of things in my backpack. Many of those things, like small creams and liquids, easily pass security in the United States without having to be pulled out and put into a plastic bag. Many other countries are not as lenient, and the Heathrow airport in London is one of them. My bag was kicked out for further inspection.


When your bag gets kicked out for further inspection, it is placed into a queue with other bags to be checked. This can often cause a delay of an additional 10 minutes or so. My bag finally made it where it was next to be checked. Behind it were two additional bags. A lady approached me and asked if that brown bag was mine and I replied in the affirmative. She then requested if she could jump the queue and be checked next because she had a tight connection of only 10 minutes.


I personally had no issue with it, but I knew there was another lady between me and her. I told her she would have to request permission from her as well, which she did. Fortunately, for her, the other lady also gave her permission.


Two frontsies in one trip is very unusual for me. But of course, common etiquette still allows for this, even in adult life.

But I will admit, I am not always as accommodating. I recall one particular domestic flight a few years ago when we landed about 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. After we land, I always immediately exit my seat to get my overhead luggage so I don't hold up anyone behind me when I'm exiting the plane. It also serves to block the aisle from the inconsiderate people who rush up the aisle to be the first off the plane, not allowing those ahead of them to exit first, as is common plane etiquette.

This particular day, a lady and a man had rushed up the aisle, but I had blocked their egress. The lady said "excuse me" in an effort to go by me. I refused her request. She said that they had a tight connection without clarifying. I turned to her and I informed her that we arrived 30 minutes earlier than scheduled so she couldn't possibly have a tight connection


After that, I had to endure her rude comments to her husband directed at me. In one of the comments she said to her husband, "some people can be so rude". I took exception to that and turned to her and replied, "yes, they certainly can be!".


Of course, I risked a blackeye from her husband, but I can rarely hold my tongue in such circumstances. Unlike the lady, the man was very passive, and said nothing. I think he just endured his wife's tirade as I did.

i'm certainly curious to know what other people would've done in the same circumstance?



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