Get to the airport two hours before your flight? That rule doesn't apply to me. That's when my alarm goes off in the morning, and I slowly lean up in bed, stretch out my arms and prepare for a leisurely journey.
I stroll into the airport, roller packed to traveler's perfection, and walk up to the counter and hear, "How are you today, Mr. Bastian? And where will you be flying today?"
"Toronto. Checking one."
I watch as they put the bright orange priority sticker on my suitcase. That ensures that it will arrive at baggage claim well before yours -- if yours even makes it, that is.
Most people get frustrated over the next step: security. Not me. Piece of cake. I see your faces. Hundreds of you. Tired. Weary. Staring at me as I walk by, skipping the massive line that winds back and forth between the ropes, and then winds some more, stretching out into the main hall.
I have my own line. Just for me.
After I cut in front of you, and have my passport and boarding pass examined, I tell the security guard to have a great day. You'll get to meet him, too. But I'll be long gone by then, sipping a coffee and reading a newspaper.
Once I reach the X-ray machine, I have my routine down to a science. Right foot to left heel. Step back. Shoe off. Left foot to right heel. Step back. Shoe off. In one swift motion, I slide off my belt with my left hand and retrieve my shoes with my right. In the next move, I grab two plastic bins and place them one in front of the other on the metal table.
Bin one: Shoes, belt, cell phone.
Bin two: Laptop.
Only amateurs still have loose change in their pockets or think they need to remove their watch. And I always smile a little when someone's belt sets off the metal detector. Sorry, buddy. Extra screening for you. Lesson learned.
Once I'm through -- and it doesn't take long -- I head to the gate. I rarely need to take a seat if I have timed things right. When it's time to board, I go first. Women. Children. Old ladies in wheelchairs. Get in line. You all have to wait for me.
And don't even think about walking on that little blue carpet. You're not allowed. That's for me, too. Stick to the dirty airport carpet, please.
Who am I? I am the elite.
Maybe you'll get there someday.