Bad behavior at the airport, Hollywood style and how to tips for keeping your cool

When passengers show bad behavior at the airport, everyone notices. Bad airport behavior is one place Hollywood gets it right, even when scenes are a bit outlandish.

Here are two scenes that show just what can happen when a passenger is vexed beyond sanity–either due to traveling with a family member or the actions of another passenger coupled with airline staff reactions.

Perhaps you’ll see an element of yourself or someone you know in one of these scenerios. If you happen to have one of these moments when traveling for the holidays, try to keep a sense of humor. It can help.

Along with a sense of humor, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help you not go bonkers. If you do go bonkers, check in with Gadling, we’d love to tell your tale. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

First up: Rain Man. Here’s what happens when two family members have a different notion of travel. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman may be brothers, but their travel preferences don’t match.

To keep from having your own Rain Man situation, particularly when traveling with children, talk over the trip beforehand. Explain what will happen at the airport before you get there. Go over the various steps like waiting in line, going through TSA and boarding the plane. One resource that’s helpful for traveling with children is Shae By Air, a DVD made for children about taking an airplane trip.

For adults who have a fear of flying, there are resources aimed for you. Scott previewed Flying without Fear. Also, in one of his Plane Answers posts, Gadling’s own pilot extraordinaire, Kent Wien presents other tips for those afraid to fly.

Second up: Honeymoon in Vegas. If there was ever an example of passenger rage, this is it. Nicolas Cage perfectly nails the emotions. Here’s what happens when a customer service agent is overly solicitous to one very irritating customer. Tom warned about this in his post about the problem with travel professionals going that extra mile.

When another passenger is driving you nuts, try to stay calm by realizing you’re about to reach your limit. If you are in a hurry because you may miss your flight, calmly ask if you can please cut because you are about to miss your plane. I’ve seen people do this before and it works. At all costs, don’t raise your voice and start spewing spittle. It just won’t help at all.

Third up: Meet the Parents. Ben Stiller doesn’t go nuts when he’s dealing with this gate attendant’s power hungry nonsense, but her behavior does add fuel to his going bonkers behavior once he’s on the plane. Let’s call this priming the pump. The video embedding function is disabled, thus I couldn’t put it in this post but it’s an hysterical scene that’s so worth the watch.

For another example of airline personnel’s bad behavior check out these videos. This is one flight attendant who needs a chill pill.

–And, once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Gas pump woes: More than just the price

I just read in this New York Times article that the increasing gas prices in the United States are creating problems at some gas pumps–actually all gas pumps. It’s not because people are throwing themselves on the hood of their cars weeping as the total bill climbs.

I just had a flash of a movie scene. Ben Stiller in the persona of his Something About Mary character–the high school prom guy, cleaning the windshield of his car, weeping–his tears are falling in streams, mixing in with the cleaning solution from the gas station squeegee. Those weird serenaders are in the background singing a gas pump price tag lament.

No, this is not what is happening at the pump. What is happening is that some pumps have pump computers too old to handle the $4 plus a gallon amount. They are stuck at $3.99. As a temporary solution until the new computers arrive, gas station owners are charging half the dollar amount at the pump and doubling the total at the cash register. They have official permission to do so, (There is an application process.) I bet that’s a psychological jolt when someone goes to pay. If you happen to come across an old gas station pump in your travels, this is one situation you might come across.

Another interesting point the article makes is that the modern, computerized machines are breaking down more often because of the speed the pump’s mechanism needs to turn to get higher and higher numbers. The higher the numbers, the faster the numbers turn, so the faster there is a breakdown. This is my understanding.

What is the limit of the new pump computers you may wonder? Just how pricey could gas get if one uses them to project ahead? $9.99. This is like Y-2K, but this time there is a problem. It will take about five months for all the pumps to be updated because of the back log with filling orders.