Gummers: What is a Gummer and Why Do They Ruin Airline Travel For The Rest Of Us?

Gummers:  What is a Gummer and Why Do They Ruin Airline Travel For The Rest Of Us?

First, I would like to thank my friends that took the time to read my first post and provided the positive comments.  That being said, I am going to try doing this for a while and see if we can have a little fun with it.  Also, feel free to send ideas and thoughts.

Originally, I was going to do a post about bacon today but thought that can wait until next time.

Some of you might not have ever heard me talk about “gummers” before.  The definition of a “gummer” is someone who screws up everyone else’s travel at an airport.  We all know who and what they are.  We have all seen them many times.  They come in many forms…both the occasional traveler who does not know any of the procedures or rules and the traveler who is just a little more important that you are.  Many of my friends are frequent fliers who understand this pain.

Even though my heart is three sizes too small, I have a real soft spot for older travelers, especially those travelling alone.  Having a grandmother whose first plane flight was at 78 and travelled with a wheelchair after that, I understand how hard that can sometimes be and those folks need our help and understanding.

That being said, I want to get back to my original point.  As much as I travel, I have countless stories of gummers.  Normally, you can tell a gummer when you first walk up to the ticket counter or kiosk.  After slowing those lines down by not knowing how to work the kiosk, having too many bags, their bags are too heavy so they decided to start taking things out of them right there or they might be trying to check a Poulan Weedeater (yes…that happened at Miami International), they are now ready slow security down to a crawl.

After getting in the wrong line, normally an argument will begin between the gummers as to what articles of clothing need to be removed for the scanner and to what needs to go in the plastic tubs.  Of course, there will always be something left in the pocket such as a cell phone, set of keys, Texas Sesquicentennial commemorative Bowie knife or the 12-ounce bottle of Suave shampoo left in the carry on bag.  The occasional shouting match with TSA is an extra bonus.

Once through security, you might think that you are home free…think again friend.  Gummers are really just starting to hit their stride.  After grabbing a hot cup of Joe at Dunkin’ Donuts (Starbucks was just too crowded), they are ready to proceed to the gate.

This is where things can really get interesting, especially if a flight delay is announced.  That is when you will see multiple trips to the gate agent.  Normally at this point, the world’s smartest traveler (a Wizard) will begin talking to the gummers about why the flight is delayed and whipping them into a frenzy.  The rush on the gate agent begins and the questions become more and more heated.

Now with any luck, the departure time is confirmed and we begin the boarding process.  As you can imagine, boarding numbers and zones are inconsequential to a gummer making the boarding line stop when they are told they cannot board yet.  This goes for both of the gummers described above because the traveler who is more important has to board first even if they do not have any type of elite status.

On the plane, gummers bags are too large for the overhead bin, do not know about valet check, sit the wrong seats, need to swim up stream as others board the plane because of some issue and complain about size of the seat.  The important traveler will sometimes sits in a different seat and then ask the person assigned if they could just move somewhere else or if the overhead is full just take down someone else’s bag so their bag will fit (yes…this happened on a recent flight back from Seattle and the very important traveler just put the other passengers back in the aisle).

By the time the plane is loaded, you are just happy to be in your seat and headed to your destination.

Occasionally, I will post a quick gummer story on Facebook but I hope to relate some of the better ones on this blog.  This will give people who don't know me a little background when I do.

Until next time…Stay Classy.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Pump your brakes, kid. That man is a national treasure. “

NEXT UP:  Bacon…the Candy of Meats.

Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized

Tags: Airports, Travel, TSA

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  • Why do you have two "G"'s in your name? Are you like royalty or something?
    Thanks, I'll hang up and listen.
    Possum

  • Longtime listener...first time caller. Please define royalty? Thank you.

  • Uh, I think you know what I mean. Royalty. Like being the Sausage King Of Chicago.
    Possum

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