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Washington Post: Why do ‘gate lice’ line up early for a flight? Psychologists explain

Washington Post: Why do ‘gate lice’ line up early for a flight? Psychologists explain

Old Dec 14, 2023, 7:30 am
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Washington Post: Why do ‘gate lice’ line up early for a flight? Psychologists explain

Fun WaPo article (paywall) on gate lice. The comments are just as good as those on FT. Oddly though I have always thought the term gate lice originated from passengers.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 10:22 am
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the authors statement that GAs came up with the term probably reflects that she doesnt know about FT

(or at least didnt want to cite it as her authoritative source)
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 12:04 pm
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Gate Lice

The term "gate lice" is now mainstream LOL

https://www.washingtonpost.com/trave...boarding-line/

excerpts:While gate agents will give clear, boarding group-specific directions , there remains a strong contingent of passengers who either get in line before theyre called or wait in their seats until theyre the last to board. While the latter type of traveler often hangs back to avoid standing in line altogether, the motives driving the former group can be harder to place.

Airline employees even have a nickname for these types of fliers: Gate lice.

***
Psychology experts pointed to two potential explanations for why passengers get in line early: conformity and competition.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 1:06 pm
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Non paywall for WaPo gate lice
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 3:47 pm
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another article today — 52 Rules for Flying — just as mundane, comments are just as entertaining

will try to locate non-paywall version to link
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 9:08 pm
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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trav...l#post35821530
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
The term "gate lice" is now mainstream LOL

https://www.washingtonpost.com/trave...boarding-line/

excerpts:While gate agents will give clear, boarding group-specific directions , there remains a strong contingent of passengers who either get in line before theyre called or wait in their seats until theyre the last to board. While the latter type of traveler often hangs back to avoid standing in line altogether, the motives driving the former group can be harder to place.

Airline employees even have a nickname for these types of fliers: Gate lice.

***
Psychology experts pointed to two potential explanations for why passengers get in line early: conformity and competition.
It comes down to people fighting for overhead space and getting overhead space near their seat. The later one boards, the less likely one is to find overhead space near their seat, or possibly not even at all. People carryon to avoid bag fees and to avoid having their carryons checked and potentially getting lost.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 3:55 am
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There are a lot annoying and/or deragtory terms in our lingo. For me, "gate lice" and "pointy end" are tied for the lead. "Kettles" and "Karens" aren't too far behind. Then, there are some of the acronyms like "HBO" and "OPM". I have no issue with airport codes, though, no matter how obscure.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 9:11 am
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Moving discussion about this article to the Travel News forum. Thanks! /JY1024, TravelBuzz moderator
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
There are a lot annoying and/or deragtory terms in our lingo. For me, "gate lice" and "pointy end" are tied for the lead. "Kettles" and "Karens" aren't too far behind. Then, there are some of the acronyms like "HBO" and "OPM". I have no issue with airport codes, though, no matter how obscure.
'Pointy end' - annoying or deragatory? Not sure i get either. Agree on the other terms.
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Old Jan 11, 2024, 1:57 am
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When I flew on Sunday, from Denpasar, I could hear that there were announcements but couldn't make out a single word that they were saying. I moved closer to the queues and the gate agents so that I could actually work out what they were saying, and see them holding up numbers of fingers. If this makes me a gate louse, I don't feel in the least bit guilty. The claim above that clear instructions are given are not always true. Once they have been through an intercom at least.

At Doha, the announcements were clear as day and I stayed seated until it was my time to board.

Last edited by OccasionalFlyerPerson; Jan 11, 2024 at 6:44 am
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Old Jan 11, 2024, 9:46 am
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Why would a psychologist be needed to explain fairly simple human behavior? People mill around the gate waiting for their zone to be called so they can get onboard sooner to get overhead space. Similarly people bunch up around a baggage carousel to get their bags as soon as they come out of the chute.
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