Proper etiquette for cutting in line

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Old Jun 9, 09, 12:25 am
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Proper etiquette for cutting in line

Now that summer is upon us, and there are many people who are taking a little longer than usual to disrobe and organize their stuff on the conveyor belt, I have begun my annual cut to the front of the line fest (TM), which generally lasts May 25 through mid to late August at domestic checkpoints.

I am always polite about it. I ask the person at the front of the line if it is OK with them. I never cut the line if I have anything more than a checkpoint friendly computer bag, or if the people in front of me don't have to negotiate kids, strollers, multiple family members, are having trouble getting their stuff together, etc.

Funny thing is, although I have not annoyed any [many] fellow passengers using this approach, the TSO's at the metal detector nearly always have something snide to say like, "you can't cut in line", or, "Sir, we have lines for a reason". Today, when I told an irate TSO at DFW that I was merely helping to expedite the flow of people through his checkpoint, he threatened me with secondary screening, but did not follow through, presumably when he saw how quick I was.

Just wondering if anyone else has a similar approach. I'm guessing not, but we'll see
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Old Jun 9, 09, 12:34 am
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I'm usually at the airport an hour early, so a few minutes in the security line is not going to kill me. I wait my turn.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 12:38 am
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I wait my turn too, but the reason is because once I cut in line and spilled my contents. Usually the people who are the slowest send 1 thing through, then dilly-dally and I don't like breaking it up.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 5:05 am
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Why do you need to cut the line? Unless you are late for your flight you can wait like everyone else and if the lines are little slow show up a few minutes early.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 5:35 am
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I would think that it takes people longer to go through security in the winter, as they have more clothing/jackets to remove.

Regardless, there is no excuse (or proper etiquette) for rude behavior.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 6:41 am
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I don't agree at all with any cutting in line. When (rarely) asked, I say it is ok if it is ok with everyone else behind me in line. i can't let someone in ahead of those who wait their turn behind me.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by PhlyingRPh View Post
Now that summer is upon us, and there are many people who are taking a little longer than usual to disrobe and organize their stuff on the conveyor belt, I have begun my annual cut to the front of the line fest (TM), which generally lasts May 25 through mid to late August at domestic checkpoints.

I am always polite about it. I ask the person at the front of the line if it is OK with them. I never cut the line if I have anything more than a checkpoint friendly computer bag, or if the people in front of me don't have to negotiate kids, strollers, multiple family members, are having trouble getting their stuff together, etc.
Any time someone doesn't have their stuff together prior to the x-ray / WTMD, I'll jump ahead of them as well.

On the same token, I'll let people jump ahead of me if I have extra gear on me and need an extra minute or two arranging stuff prior to the x-ray.

Two way street.

I'll never jump the entire queue though -- just in front of the x-ray if I'm ready and someone is taking a long time.

Ok - one exception to queue jump: Ever show up at the airport, be told your flight is late (= missed Intl connection at say ATL), but there is a flight leaving in 15 minutes to your hub city (say ATL).

Checkpoint line is at least 15+ minutes long? What do you do? (a) misconnect on original flight, or (b) Jump queue and make earlier flight? I run into this every once and awhile - if I can't get an airline escort, I'll jump queue as politely as I can.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 7:16 am
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In that case I'd approach airport/airline staff rather than just assume I'm entitled to cut in line. If it's my fault that I'll miss it then I should cop the penalty, if it's the airline's fault then it's up to them to get me out ASAP anyway.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:03 am
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I queue-jump also, but only at the belt when someone is standing in front of an empty bin with that dumb animal stare that says "what do I do next?"

I've never been called on it, because the person I'm jumping is always mentally incapacitated at that moment.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by Omnivore View Post
In that case I'd approach airport/airline staff rather than just assume I'm entitled to cut in line. If it's my fault that I'll miss it then I should cop the penalty, if it's the airline's fault then it's up to them to get me out ASAP anyway.
Over nine years of travel I've attempted to cut in line once and TSA shut that down even with the GA trying to get me onto an earlier flight. Usually, got to get disassembled and tell others with less stuff to go ahead.
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by PhlyingRPh View Post
I have begun my annual cut to the front of the line fest (TM), which generally lasts May 25 through mid to late August at domestic checkpoints.

Originally Posted by PhlyingRPh View Post
I am always polite about it. I ask the person at the front of the line if it is OK with them.
I'd love to see you "politely" ask me if you can just skip right past me because you're on your annual queue-jumping fest.

I don't see how this "policy" can possibly benefit anyone except you. I can picture exactly what happens, you have people in front of you who are putting their things on the conveyor belt, you rock up all bright and cheerful asking them something that is most likely completely out of the normal routing, so the first response is "excuse me?" Followed by a bit of delay and explaining while you tell them that you have a god-given right to jump queues as it's an official annual policy for you, they get a bit more confused, 5-10 seconds go by, they have to move their stuff around on the conveyor belt and finally you can dump your security checkpoint-friendly laptop bag on the conveyor in front of them. You then sail by and the whole queue behind you has lost a few seconds of their day that they will never get back.

Great job!
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:13 am
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There's no polite way to say this, but your approach is rude and selfish. If everyone took your approach, chaos would ensue. The social contract exists for a reason.

I let a woman jump a queue I had waited in for 15 minutes. I was polite, and not visibly frustrated, but she really irritated me as well as the people behind me who were muttering under their breaths.

Karma is real. If your plane goes down in the Hudson who do you think the people you cut in front of are going to help last?
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:34 am
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I've seen the TSA direct those appearing to need extra time to unload on a separate belt.

I do like to keep things moving. If for some reason, I'm fumbling with something and holding up the line, I'll tell the person behind me to jump ahead.

I've also seen the TSA direct people to come forward of someone who is running slow.

I don't jump the queue, unless directed to do so.

If there is a line to the lav, does the OP queue-jump as well?
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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by Omnivore View Post
In that case I'd approach airport/airline staff rather than just assume I'm entitled to cut in line. If it's my fault that I'll miss it then I should cop the penalty, if it's the airline's fault then it's up to them to get me out ASAP anyway.
Problem is the airlines are understaffed, especially at outstations, when it comes to a scenario where you're put on an earlier flight and the checkpoint is backlogged.

I once had a tight connection on Qantas where my domestic connection was an international tag-on - Upon arrival in the international terminal, a Qantas staffer made sure that I was able to jump to the front of the queue for security and got me straight onto the flight.

That is unlikely to happen here. In one scenario where I did queue jump at security I was flying DL at one of their outstations and making an international connection at CVG.

My original flight to CVG was delayed by the time I got to the airport, as the equipment was coming in from ATL. The DL ticket/check-in agent put me on a Comair flight departing in 15 minutes and told me to run for it.

I asked the agent if I could get an escort thru the security queue and was told they were understaffed; agent said just to run for it. I had Plat status FWIW and was also traveling up-front.

I run for the checkpoint and it is chock-block full; no elite line.

At this point I can either (a) wait and miss newly scheduled flight, or (b) jump queue.

I jumped queue as politely as I could (TSA was of no help, as I first asked them for assistance). I know I angered some - and I didn't have time to explain to each and every person, "I'm sorry, but I arrived at the airport well in advance of my departure, but Delta Air Lines re-booked me on an EARLIER flight due to irregular operations"

Had I not taken the earlier flight, I would have missed my connection. The earlier flight on Comair allowed me to get to CVG and make my connection to FCO .. (back when it was a seasonal non-stop).

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Old Jun 9, 09, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler View Post
Any time someone doesn't have their stuff together prior to the x-ray / WTMD, I'll jump ahead of them as well.

On the same token, I'll let people jump ahead of me if I have extra gear on me and need an extra minute or two arranging stuff prior to the x-ray.

Two way street.

I'll never jump the entire queue though -- just in front of the x-ray if I'm ready and someone is taking a long time.

Ok - one exception to queue jump: Ever show up at the airport, be told your flight is late (= missed Intl connection at say ATL), but there is a flight leaving in 15 minutes to your hub city (say ATL).

Checkpoint line is at least 15+ minutes long? What do you do? (a) misconnect on original flight, or (b) Jump queue and make earlier flight? I run into this every once and awhile - if I can't get an airline escort, I'll jump queue as politely as I can.

Dead on. If someone is taking three hours putting their stuff into trays and I'm good to go, I'll pass them. No reason to wait, no one gets hurt. But be damn sure you're not going to beep.

But I will cut full lines if I'm late. I try not to - and it drives me nuts when people do it 30 minutes before their flights are due to depart, but if my flight leaves in 10, and I'm in line, I will ask (politely) to cut.
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