Are There “Rules Of The Road” In Airports?

I awoke this morning to a Facebook post from Dave, a friend of mine:

Fellow travelers. Here in the good old USA we walk/drive on the right. Should you find yourself constantly staring down face to face hordes of people dodging around you going the opposite direction, you need to select your “other” right. Furthermore, when necessary to stop and collect yourself, masses bumping, cursing and similarly dodging you like a school of baitfish avoiding a pack of predators, you need to move the hell out of the flow! Self Awareness, clearly a lost art to the airline flyer……..

Dave is a road warrior, traveling the US (mostly Southeast) for his job.  Frequent travelers see more of the ins and outs of an airport than normal folk.  They’re also generally in more of a rush than most (I know I frequently am).  Whether it’s booking a tight connection because I know I can make it or rushing to try to catch an earlier flight to make it home a bit early to the family after a long week on the road.

His comments struck a chord with me, mostly because I like to move through airports pretty quickly.  But, it got me thinking, how many people actually believe in “rules of the road” in an airport?  I know I always walk on the right side of a hallway in airport terminals except when I move into “the passing lane”, veering onto the other side of the hallway while dodging some traffic to get ahead of slow-moving people.

And, there’s no question I’ve had my fair share of moments where I was moving down a terminal walkway at a pretty good clip only to find a person or persons stopped in the middle of my path, with plenty of space for them to have stepped out of the flow of traffic.

So, what’s the verdict?  Do you believe in the rules of the road for airports?  Which side of the terminal do people who drive on the left think they should walk down?

Do we need more outreach so everyone understands the “rules of the road”?


  1. I got attitude from a guy who stopped after deplaning RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAFFIC FLOW to read the connections board. “Yep, stop anywhere.” I said. I wanted to pretend to ignore him and walk right through him. He replied with nothing more than a look that seemed to say “You wanna make something of it?” Ugh.

    1. Bruce, I’ve made a few too many comments like that in my day. 🙂
      I try not to do it around my kids, but boy can people be frustrating when walking through a crowded airport.

  2. I agree 100% with Dave. I was just thinking about this same thing yesterday running through DFW to catch a tight connection (at the A gates where there is construction so the walkways are even smaller than usual). It was great to wake up today and see I wasn’t the only one!

    1. Nicole, those narrow hallways amidst the construction drive me nuts! You get one or two people moving slowly and it gums up the whole works. I’ll be glad when they’re done, as those walkways are wide enough to leave a “passing lane” in the middle. 🙂

  3. Yeah, definitely can see where Dave is coming from. I find though that with my Briggs and Riley spinner, that I’ll “accidentally” get really close (not hit) some of those folks that stop to read the screen in the middle of the walkway… and also on the moving walkways, the spinner helps because its less awkward than breathing down their neck to get them to move… And while I don’t find myself sitting in the gate area very often, I do still see quite a few people who’s bags are more important than what often seem like dozens of people standing because there are no seats.

    1. Trevor, couldn’t agree more with your comments. I haven’t transitioned to a spinner yet, though. I like pulling a heavy backpack attached to my Briggs rolling bag too much.

  4. Agree with the general “rules of the airport road”. Particularly with people who stop in the middle of the passage way, usually in clusters of three or more. And particularly those who do it at the exit from the plane where we enter the terminal! Of course, I suppose we’re most irritated by these things at this time of the year when airports are overflowing with those who fly once or twice a year.

    And let’s not talk about newbies to PreCheck or Global Entry who haven’t a clue how these two fast track, streamlined services work and waste time of those of us behind them. The former was particularly bad when TSA started moving non-registered people from ordinary security lanes into the PreCheck ones once their documents have been examined. These people, no matter how many times they were screamed at by TSA staff about the streamlined procedure, still started to take off shoes, belts, open suitcases to remove baggies of liquids and computers!

    And up here in Canada, people who insist on removing their shoes when going through domestic and international security checkpoints, something only required when using the transferor/US security checkpoints.

    1. DavdB, the uninformed in Pre Check lanes is so frustrating for me. It’s not their fault at all, but they slow down the line considerably. Bad decision by TSA IMO. And, I’ll never figure out people who stop right after exiting the plane. The lack of awareness about the 100 or so people behind them is mind boggling.

  5. it is a problem trying to get to the next flight people do not understand in us we stay to the right not left or the middle… THe worst recently was in Amsterdam.. they were messing with the airport corridors so people were squeezed to the sides and it was only enough room for one deep but people did not get that ..we almost missed our connection!!!!

Leave a Reply