Reader Mike asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:
What are you thoughts on those in security lines that ask to jump ahead because they’re late? Just yesterday I was called an asshole by some guy whose family was running behind to catch a flight and I refused to accommodate. Regardless of the reason, I’m late, they’re late, why should I allow another person ahead to increase my chances of misconnecting?
It’s an interesting question, and one I don’t have an answer to. So I’d love to hear what you guys think.
On one hand I’m a firm believer in the quote which goes “a lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.”
At the same time, this is one of those situations where I can see both sides:
You should have planned better
Most of the time when people are running late for a flight it’s within their control. Not that they wanted to be running late so that they’d have to ask people for a line cut at security, but rather they didn’t leave enough of a buffer. It’s kinda like when you’re supposed to meet someone for drinks at 6PM, and then they show up at 6:30PM and say “sorry I’m late, traffic was horrible.” During rush hour, really?!? You don’t say!
Despite having flown millions and millions of miles, I’ve only once ever missed a flight at my origin, and in that case I overslept so much that I didn’t bother going to the airport.
But is it worth the aggravation?
But it’s also possible that the person has a “legitimate” situation. They had a late inbound flight, had a family emergency and needed to book a ticket last minute, had an accident on the way to the airport, etc.
Is it worth giving them the benefit of the doubt? And even if it isn’t, is it worth the aggravation to be “that” person that doesn’t let them in?
I go with the crowd…
My personal philosophy is that I go with whatever the others in line do. If they let someone through, I’ll do the same. If they don’t, I typically won’t either.
If I’m the last person in line and they ask to cut me, it’s all about how they ask:
“I hate to ask, but I just got off an international flight and my connection leaves in 20 minutes. Do you mind if I cut you?”
If someone’s strolling up with a latte, three carry-ons, is on their cell phone, and says “it’s okay if I cut you, right?”
Hell to the naw.
I don’t think Mike was in the wrong at all. And I certainly don’t think being called names over not letting someone line cut is warranted.
How about you? Do you let people cut you in line at security if they claim to be running late? If so, under what circumstances?