I don’t travel all that often, but when I do, I always find the people watching in airports to be top notch. As I stood in an interminable line at the airport the other night, I mentally categorized the travellers I was surrounded by. I’m sure I’ve left a few types out, but what’s not to love about these fine folks? Because chances are, you’ve encountered each and every one of them in your travels.
The Deep Sigher
He’ll subtly shakes his head to indicate displeasure at being forced to wait in line. He’ll frequently and deeply sigh at the clear incompetence surrounding him. Usually stands with arms crossed, casts around impatiently trying to figure out what could possibly be the hold up. I imagine him to be the type of person to use the line “Do you KNOW who am?” And not facetiously, either. Also prone such displeasure when seated within 10 rows of small children.
The Extreme Comfort traveller
Granted, we were boarding a red-eye, but come on now. I followed a man onto the plane in his pyjamas. Not track pants, not flannel pants; full-on, top-and-bottom pyjamas. Clutching a full-size pillow. Dignity, people, dignity.
The Personal Space Invader
Listen, I want to get on this plane just as much as you do, but if you step on my heels one more time, I’m going to call security.
The Over packer
I may have been guilty of this once or twice, but I’m learning to curb my evil ways.
You can see her coming, anxiously shuffle-running to the gate. She’s pulling her wheelie carry-on; her gigantic over-stuffed shoulder purse, a bag of snacks and one of those neck thingies strapped to one of her bags. She’ll board, then hold up boarding for the rest of us as she tries to heave the wheelie bag in the overhead bin (it won’t fit). Can’t quite stuff purse and food under the seat in front of her. May or may not be spilling into the seat next to her. She’s a gem, this one.
The No Packer
Behold the opposite end of the spectrum. The dude who gets on a 6 hour flight with absolutely nothing, not even a freaking brochure to read. Spends the entire flight staring at the seat back in front of him. Maybe he’s meditating.
It’s always when you finally drift off to sleep that the passenger behind you uses your head rest to hoist themselves out of their seat and then lets it go with such ferocity that you get whiplash when the thing hits you in the back of the head. And then does it again when he sits back down. Love that guy.
The Newbie/Exasperated Frequent Flyer
These two inevitably go hand in hand at security. The newbie will always go first, completely unawares that she has to relinquish her water, take off her shoes, her belt, empty her bags and must ask 76 questions in the process. This lovely, naive traveller is always followed by the razor-sharp frequent flyer who can do all those things in the blink of an eye, while on the phone sipping his triple espresso from Starbucks. But who cares! Because his coffee will have time to cool in the time it takes our newbie friend to go through all the steps. EFF is not to be confused with Heavy Sigher, though they may exhibit similar same traits.
The Overeager Stander Upper
I had the distinct pleasure of sitting next to one of these. As soon as the plane’s wheels come to a halt at the gate, this guy springs out of his window seat and stands hunched over me. Guess what? Hovering over me will do nothing but make me take my sweet time. How’s your neck feeling, by the way, as you tilt yourself awkwardly under the overhead bins for the next 5 minutes?
The Carousel Hoverer
This one, hands down, is my favourite. Everyone’s favourite, I think. You know the ones: if they could, they’d stand on the revolving part of the carousel. Since they can’t, they like to stand so close that they can press their shins to it, as if this would make their bags get
there faster. I will admit that it gives me tremendous pleasure to stand back, approach when I spot my bag and then hurl it off the carousel into their knees with near super-human force. “Oh, terribly sorry, didn’t see you standing there!”
I’ll confess that I probably am a combination of all of these… except for the catapulter and the carousel hoverer. You’ll never catch me doing that.
It’s good to be home.