Yesterday around noon time, TSA security gate at the Lihue Airport was full of people waiting to check in the boarding zoon. I was not in a hurry but I assumed it would take more than 15 minutes to go through the gate.
In the meantime, a TSA worker came to us to reduce a long line. She addressed us that another security gate was available for the Alaska Airlines customers. She told us, "If you fly with Alaska, you can go to another gate. There is no line." A few people moved but majority of the line didn't move. I thought it might be faster to use another gate even though I had to walk more but I wasn't sure if Hawaiian customers are OK to use. So I stayed in a line without asking.
A little by little, people moved toward the security checkpoint and my turn seemed to be coming soon. 25 minutes had already passed. Then I saw a TSA worker came to say again "Another gate is available for Alaska and United passengers." This time more people moved to the other gate and then I saw a young couple made a question to her. He asked "Is another gate for only Alaska and United? Hawaiian passengers can use?" I thought this was a great question because this was what I wanted to know. Surprisingly, she said "YES" and continued, "Any airlines can go but you have to walk to the far end of the terminal." I saw a young couple moved as soon as they got an answer.
Soon after, finally my turn came and I was able to catch a plane. To my surprise, a young couple who asked if they could use another gate, got on board right after my boarding. This means another gate was much more faster.
On the way to HNL, I was thinking about this event. ....If I asked a TSA worker if I could use another gate, most probably I wouldn't need to wait for 30 minutes even though I would walk more...but probably not more than 5 minutes because Lihue airport is not big. And it seemed obvious that more and more people would try another gate if a TSA worker told us "any passenger" can use another gate. I fully realized importance of the question since information is always limited but it can be unlimited if we make more questions!
Shakespeare left a great line in his play Hamlet, "To be or not to be:that is the question" but I realized at this case for me "To ask or not to ask" was a question. The man who didn't ask...waited 30 minutes and the man who asked...didn't need to wait!