It’s safe to say I’ve seen my fair share of airports. I was flying before I was walking and in the past year alone I’ve counted 13 flights and 6 airports. Now, I’m no flight attendant (I have friends that are, though, and those stories are hysterical), but I’ve come across a great deal of travelers. Big, small, short, tall…you see where this is going.
Yesterday, while sitting on the floor at my gate thanks to the Delta system outage*, I started to think about all the encounters I’ve had. Though I’ve titled this “…At The Airport”, it’s safe to say you can meet these people regardless of your means of travel.
*FWIW, I did not mind our travel delay, it gave me more time to people watch and everyone knows the airport is the best place for such an activity.
Now, on with the show….
The Five People You Meet At Airports
1. The Head-Down-Moving-Forward Traveler. I’ll give you a heads up — this is 75% of the travelers you see. They are en route to their destination and that is their only goal. They aren’t here to be chatty, ask about your travels or form a bond over shared interests in in-flight media options. They want to grab a coffee, get on the plane, plug into their approved electronic device and deplane with a couple pleasantries thrown in here and there.
2. The Know-It-All Travelers. No matter where you’ve been or where you’re going — they have done it before. Your hometown? They’ve been there and know it better than you do. It’s amazing how many places they’ve been, how many destinations they are experts on and how often I get seated beside this individual. Watch out for these travelers if you ever happen to get delayed — they will all of a sudden become experts in airplane mechanics, weather and more. It’s truly incredible!
3. The First Time Travelers. You can see them from a mile away. They are frantically reading every sign at security trying to make sure they do everything by the books and boarding passes and forms of I.D. are in-hand at all times. They might forget to take their jacket off for TSA and they are not likely to follow the traveling etiquette of not hogging coveted gate outlets, but it always makes me smile seeing how excited they are for their trip. You can often tell where they are headed, because they are reading the Lonely Planet book on the city.
4. The Oversharing Traveler. Whether they are listening to music or watching a movie, talking obnoxiously loud on their cell phone or playing a game that makes a buzzing sound every six seconds, the airport is their oyster and you’re just existing in it. I have one word for you: MUTE. I’m pleased as punch you just got a promotion, finally found a game more addictive than Pokemon Go! or are finally getting a chance to watch a movie without your kids, but for the love of all that is holy, no one is enjoying it as much as you. Invest in a good pair of earbuds or headphones.
5. The Drunk Traveler. Look, I get it, some of us need liquid courage to board a tin can for travel at 35,000 feet, but don’t do so at the discomfort of other passengers. This traveler might have showered prior to arrival, but now they stink of overservice at the airport lounge and are drooling on your shoulder after an inebriated tirade on politics. Although harmless, proceed with caution here!
If you travel frequently, where do you fall? And most importantly…what type of traveler would you add?