Costco gas station etiquette: What would you have done?

I mentioned earlier that one local Costco here finally has gas below $4 per gallon. I had to fill up and was near that Costco on Sunday, so I went over. This gas station is always packed, but even by its normal standard it was really crowded.

Well, I went to get into line and was driving up the stem of a T. At the end of the stem you had to turn left to go down the length of the parking lot to get to the pumps. However, this place was so crowded that the line of cars went well past the intersection and back to the end of the building. I did exactly what the other cars in front of me did: turn right and drive to the end of the line of cars and then take my place.

Well, when I got back to where the T was there were two cars there that did not want to go to the end of the line. Rather, they were trying to nudge their ways into the line of cars already in line. The first one then started to pull up to the spot between the car in front of me and me.

If you had been me, would you have let that car get in ahead, or would you have stayed close enough to the car in front to not allow it in?

Definitely not let them in!!

I don’t know that I’m fully visualizing the scenario, but if the guy is truly cutting in line, I’d probably not let him in.

This is why I never got gas at Costco. It was a bit cheaper, but not that much and the lines were always horrendous.

Here there is a very significant difference in gas prices. Back when I drove forty-five miles each way to and from work it make an enormous difference. Even today working from home we still save a lot going to Costco. My wife is getting really lousy mileage on our Honda Accord making two separate trips to and from school for the two kids. We go through a lot of gas without driving that much these days.

I didn’t either. They got in behind me and ended up behind me at the pumps. I was almost hoping they would say something to me about not letting them in, as I was ready to tell them that they should have gone to the end of the line just like me and everybody else.

There are times when I will be nice and yield to somebody. However, this was not one of those times.

Me too.


I always let people in in traffic or a merge, but not in a situation like WMJ described.

I once saw a Costco employee yell at a guy because he jumped ahead of someone in next lane. It was pretty funny.

This is one reason I like flying Southwest. They have the boarding process down to a T so you can’t cut in line.

This also reminds me of another story that sportswriter Peter King wrote about. He was at a hotel in Chicago where only one elevator was working and there was a line of people a mile long waiting to get on. There was a space between the end of the line and the elevator door, and just as the elevator was emptying one guy started walking across the open area towards the door. King called him out for it, the guy denied he was doing anything, and King said that he was. The guy then told King that he was a Starwood Preferred member, to which King replied that he was also an asshole.

King also told a similar story about using his reporter privilege to take a foul ball that a kid would have otherwise had. Didn’t understand when fans called him out on it.

I’d keep it tight and if we made eye contact I’d tell him no. I’m generally easy going as far as lines go, but everybody behind me would have a problem if I left him in.

I have driven 2 miles halfway on the interstate shoulder to keep someone from cutting in.

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One of the problems with Costco pumps, at least around here, they are only available when the warehouse is open.

I never saw that one, but it sounds like the opposite of what he described at the hotel. The guy was trying to cut ahead at the front of the line and get on the elevator and King, who was standing in line waiting, called him out on it.

He also described how the guy asked him if he wanted to step outside and how King said he did not. At the end, a hotel employee let him and several other guests on the service elevator, and King waived good-bye to the guy.

He later re-named the travel section of his column the “Mr. Starwood Preferred Travel Story” in honor of the guy.

Here they open about three or 3 1/2 hours before the warehouse and close about one hour afterwards. If you can get there early enough in the morning you can save time, though these days not as much as before.

The gas line moves pretty quick at my Costco, you have to pay at the pump, it’s all one direction and there’s no store or bathroom.

Same with mine, I think they open at 6am everyday except Sunday which is 7 or 8. I usually stop after work to fill my car and the lines aren’t bad, I’ll bring my wife’s early on the weekend if I’m running around.

BTW does your Costco have a car wash? I’ve seen some in warmer climates have them, we don’t.

No, I have never seen a Costco with a car wash. I had never thought of that. I wonder how much business they would get and if it would be worthwhile.

Back to the other subject, another one of my peeves is when people try to pull out of a parking lot and make a left turn into the street when the traffic is heavy. As one example, near where we live there is a plaza at the southeast corner of an intersection. The north-south street is extremely busy at rush hour. If you want to make a left coming out, you have to go through thee north-bound lanes and then turn into the south-bound lane, and when the light is red all three lanes are always backed-up. This alone should be a hint that making a left turn out of the parking lot is not the brightest thing to do. And, if that is not enough, you can’t see the southbound traffic through the back-up cars.

Still, invariably there is always some idiot who decides that he wants to come out and make a left. Almost every time somebody manages to do that he ends up blocking all of the lanes. Whenever I am going north at that intersection and see a car wanting to come out with its left turn signal on, I do not yield either. Similarly, if I am coming out of that parking lot, I exit on the other street and then turn around. It takes me less time overall and is a lot safer.

Some of those left turns are probably illegal, if it’s a heavy traffic area with a double yellow. Blocking the lanes would always be.

If it’s just heavy traffic, but legal, hard to argue with them. Just annoying.

This may be why UPS drivers only make right turns.

In the area where I live they have added medians at many intersections compared to how it used to be. This has greatly cut down on people trying to make left turns like this. In my opinion this intersection is also a very good spot for a median like this.

I am guessing these turns are legal. However, just because something is legal does not mean it is the safest or brightest thing to do.