Why do people pop up out of their seats and crowd the aisles as soon as an airplane lands, waiting for the door to open so they can escape as quickly as possible? Is there someone handing out prizes to the first ten people who emerge from the plane? (I’m never at the front of the line, so I wouldn’t know.) Are they all burdened with ever-expanding bladders, and an aversion to the closets with the gasping toilets on the airplane? Are they afraid that the plane is going to explode at any moment? I don’t get it.
Come to think of it, people board airplanes the same way. As soon as they announce that it's time to start taking tickets, all the passengers crowd around and they push their way in front of you like the fate of the universe depends upon them getting on that plane. I used to think that maybe they were worried that there wouldn’t be enough seats for everyone, so they had to grab one before they lost out, kind of like the game of musical chairs where the slow ones end up on the floor. Really. What’s the rush? It’s not like the plane is going to take off while half the people are still at the gate, standing in line.
The fact is, you can hurry to be the first one on the plane, but we all end up leaving at the same time. You can push your way into the aisle to get off the plane, but nobody goes anywhere until they open the door.
Is this bizarre airplane behavior a variation on the scarcity principle, perhaps? Are we afraid that if we’re not first, or somewhere near the front of the line, we’re going to miss out and somebody else is going to end up with something that should be ours? But what would that be? Maybe if they gave free peanuts to the first to be seated, I’d be motivated to push my way to the front. I do miss those free peanuts.
I think that they should sell raffle tickets to passengers when they arrive at the gate to board the plane. Then they can draw tickets to determine who goes first, second, and so on. They could use the money they make on the raffle tickets to pay for our peanuts.