Travel etiquette tip: Don’t stop in the middle of the jetbridge

You know how it is. Your flight has been delayed, but you’ve finally landed at your destination and you’re anxious to get off the suitcase handleplane. Impatiently, you wait for the seats ahead of you to clear. Once it’s your turn, you grab your suitcase out of the overhead bin and dash for the door. But about halfway down the jetbridge you realize you’re uncomfortable  carrying your bag and you’d like to roll it.

At this point, you have a decision to make. You can stop right where you are, in the middle of the jetbridge, and try to be super quick about getting your suitcase handle out so that you don’t slow down. That’s the decision I usually make, and I’m typically really fast and can do it without stopping at all. However, several weeks ago I was traveling with my older suitcase and the handle was stuck and wouldn’t come out. I was forced to stop in the middle of the jetbridge and mess with the handle until it extended all the way. Unfortunately, the guy behind me was not prepared for me to stop and bumped into me. Whoops! Definitely not what I was aiming for. (Pictured: the offending handle.)

Since then, any time I’ve needed to pause after getting off the plane I have been moving over to the side of the jetbridge. Same goes for once I’m actually in the airport—I will move over to the side to get out of others’ way. One thing I’ve seen people do as their walking up the jetbridge is hold their suitcase in their right hand and reach over with their left, extend the handle while they’re still walking, then grab the handle with their right hand. All without missing a beat. I’ve tried it a few times, and while it’s a bit awkward it works well.

Readers, when do you start rolling your suitcase—while on the plane or in the jetbridge?


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  1. I totally agree with you. Sometimes, it’s annoying how people don’t pay attention to what’s around them. Even when just walking (anywhere) and suddenly stopping and having the person behind you “jump” from the surprise.
    Also, in this new age of paying for bags, people tend to bring tons of stuff as carry on. I don’t get it. Why would someone need 25 t-shirts for a 7-days vacation in Florida? Just because they can bring them and it fits in the bag? And on top of that, these people buy stuff in the duty-free shops, get another bag of fast food for the airplane, and, of course, the neck pillow that they can’t skip on having it for this 3-hours flight.

  2. What I really don’t understand are people who wait for their friends or family members in the jetbridge and blocking absolute everyone. The jetbridge only has one exit so it’s not like you could miss each other.

    In regards to rollercase and getting handle out while walking…I carry the bag with my left hand, pull out the handle with my right hand and swing it across my front from left to tight with the case sort of touching down like a plane with its two wee wheels. All without stopping. Always makes me feel so cool. Haha.

  3. This piece describes a situation so obvious that it should not have been needed. Is nobody now taught that you should not impede a public thoroughfare? Either leave or go to the side if you want to have a conversation, fix something, or otherwise cause a break in the flow of traffic. If there are 2 of you, go to the same side to chat-dont talk across a corridor or passage. A jet bridge is a public thoroughfare. So is an elevator.

  4. Break down the hyphenated word, “carry-on”, and you’ll see it makes no mention of wheels. If you can’t physically carry it, don’t bring it.

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