Who would have thought it, in the age of equality, the practice of “Sneetching”, as I’ll refer to it, still exists! What’s Sneetching? Its coined from my favorite Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches on the Beaches. There were two groups of Sneetches, one group with stars on their bellies and one group without stars. The group with the stars labeled themselves as the best Sneetches on the Beaches and left out the poor Sneetches that had “no stars on thars”. It was a true act of segregation if there ever was one, and intolerance to diversity.
I just returned home from Montreal, Canada and spent a lot of that week in the Airport, along with many other travelers. Once in my boarding gate, I found a nice comfortable seat close to the gate and waited for our departure. Announcements soon began about boarding procedures to our assigned seats. The first class travelers who pay a gazillion $$$$$ to sit in the front of the plane went first. Handicapped people and those traveling with children (bless their hearts) went next. Our Skycap agent then came on the microphone to tell us that boarding would soon begin for Priority Customers – it went something like this: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to begin our boarding for the fraternal order of the elite Gold Medallion Club, we are so proud to ask you to enter on the Right side of the red divider ribbon where you’ll see the blue priority carpet is placed in your honor”. The line formed as the rest of us looked on at these privileged few.
The next announcement was for the “Ladies and Gentlemen of the elite Silver Medallion Club, who were to form a line to the Right of the red divider ribbon and proceed down the blue priority carpet into the gate. Thanks very much to these dedicated Delta Flyers!” The rest of us sat and gazed on as this group proceeded into the gate.
“NOW, we will begin our final boarding for the remainder of our passengers, please try not to trample over each other as you board and if you can’t find a spot in the overhead bin for your carry on luggage, you are just out of luck, and don’t complain about it either. NOW, if you will please form a line to the LEFT of the red ribbon with no carpet on the floor, and no you cannot pass on the right side of the ribbon, that’s reserved for our elite club members, then you can proceed through the gate.” Like cattle we are prodded into and through the gate and onto the plane where the priority passengers are sitting and waiting on us to hurry up.
It is someone’s job to dream up ways to make people want to feel special or that they are viewed as special when in a group. To frequent flyers, God bless you, that is a hard life to live and for a few dollars extra I would pay more for upgrades to seats in economy close to the front, but that’s it. Personally I do not use overhead bins and I like to wait and be the last person to board the aircraft, there is a chance I might find a better seat on my way to mine and there is no standing and waiting.
So are you a star belly sneetch or a plain belly sneetch? I know, who cares!