The Different Kinds Of People You Meet At Airports

I spend a lot of time in airports. I was first put on a plane when I was just two months old. After that, my parents decided that I would just have to become accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle. My father’s work required him to move all over the world and, even when we weren’t in the process of moving, we were constantly going places – part of my parents’ attempts to instill a sense of culture and global awareness in my sister and me, driven by the fear that, god forbid, one day we’d ask to go to Disneyland instead of the Berlin Wall or the Louvre.

Traveling with family at a young age, I wasn’t able to really take in my surroundings. My mother and sister were often gripped with anxiety while my father tried to hold down the fort. In the midst of all this, I sought silence; I liked to watch the planes come in. It wasn’t until later, once I began to travel alone, that I turned my attention to those anonymous faces I’d probably never see again and began to notice patterns. Now, for the sake of keeping this short and sweet, I’ll only list the six types of people I’ve encountered in airports that have stuck out most to me. I think most people will have come across at least one of these.

1. The aging “Cabin Crew Service Manager”

Most commonly found working for major airlines and has seen the glamour of her occupation dissipate before her eyes (you have to fight for your seat on an easyJet flight?!) She hands out peanuts and pretzels to disgruntled passengers and coos at crying infants. Starched hair and scratchy polyester suit. Big fat smile that accentuates her crow’s feet. Often proficient in many languages due to eons of service. Speak to her politely and she’ll be your best friend for the next few hours.

2. The airport pervert

As a rule, people don’t look their best while traveling. Long hours spent in highly pressurized cabins will do that to a person. Consequently, a confirmation that you don’t look like the Corpse Bride could potentially be a welcome relief. Sadly, relief never comes in the form of a non-invasive, appreciative glance; what you’ll get from this kind of person is a full-on lascivious leer. +10 points if they have a wife/ girlfriend/ child with them (+100 for any combination).

3. The couple that, without fail, asks you if they can have your seat

Don’t have much to say about this other than: Why didn’t you choose your seat in advance? I certainly did. But sure, I’ll switch with you. Please enjoy my strategically positioned aisle seat (which I picked months ago) while I sit sandwiched between two fatties for the next eight hours. Damn you.

4. The loud, often drunk, passengers

Will ask for wine and beer and gin and whiskey and some of that after-dinner aperitif or whatever else they can get their hands on for free (usually all at once). Tend to not say please or thank you. Typically found to be male and in groups of three or more. Prepare for a sleepless flight.

5. The business man/first class passenger

Seen sporting a blazer, dark-wash jeans, and expensive Italian leather shoes. Alternatively (if going straight to work), will wear a suit. Spotted only at check-in, sitting comfortably in airport-lounges, and while boarding.

6. The person who is just like you

Usually engrossed in whatever is playing on their iPod/ laptop/ netbook/ iPad/ newest technological fad. Armed with sleeping pills and/or a mild sedative. All you want is some quiet and maybe a few of those roasted almonds. Is that too much to ask? It’s not often you hold people up while going through security, as you’ve prepackaged your liquids and carefully chosen an outfit that doesn’t require a belt. How considerate and prepared of you! Now, if you could just get on the plane. That would be great.

Disclaimer: these are the personal thoughts of a “person who is just like you.” Experiences may vary (especially if you fall under category #2). TC mark

image – Yorick_R


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  • Michael Koh


  • Chelsea

    Funny and true, broke up my work slag a bit. 

  • Seikel

    Number First Class please. I don’t care that it costs more. between the free drinks, express security line, great seats and airport lounge, it’s a win.  Traveling BLOWS and this makes it a little better.

  • Guest

    Need to add:

    1. Study abroad/bright-eyed-naive student
    2. Frequent traveler
    3. Americans (in a foreign airport)

  • Claire

    “Please enjoy my strategically positioned aisle seat (which I picked months ago) while I sit sandwiched between two fatties for the next eight hours. Damn you.”


    • reality slap

      Are you standing near a vacuum? Because your sense of humour seems to have been sucked out.

      • Claire

        oh, silly me, I forgot how hilarious fat people are!

      • fat

        they are

      • reality slap

        Stop spamming this article, and re-evaluate your use of time, you attention-seeking schlub.

      • Claire


  • Erin

    also add: tired looking mother with four young energetic children and seven carry-ons

  • Tau Zaman

    TC just can’t give fat people a rest. 

    • Guest

      I think it’s mainly ROC

  • Tau Zaman

    Also, add: “Person who has serious motion sickness but tries not to be a bother and thus just sits still, stares ahead, breathes through their nostrils and turns rapidly green throughout the ride because the Dramamine must have been a placebo.”

    Me, basically. I hate flying.

  • badbitch4lyfe

    yo reality slap, i hope you have vacuum cause its the only thing thats gunna lay pipe with you.

  • Heh

    Does traveling make you have a dull sense of humor? 

    • Guest

       perhaps. haters gonna hate…

  • Matthew Baldwin

    What about the the unprepared traveler

    they think they are the only
    person who has ever traveled by air, and that all the security checks,
    processes and hassles or air travel apply only to them. they complain  incessantly, and have no respect for the marvel that is air travel! they think
    that 11 hours to fly 6000 miles is too long, forgetting that less than 100 years
    ago, you would be sailing for some months to achieve what can be now done in
    less than a day!

    • Lolz'o'clock

      I suppose that wasn’t included as it’s not very good.


    okay, what about the lady with the 80s hair who never travels and doesn’t understand that you put your liquids in a plastic bag and giggles to herself because she hasn’t travelled in years and is excited?  See her EVERYTIME.  

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