The Five Types of People You Meet on an Airplane



BY AMY HILL

In preparation for travel ramping back up in 2021, you may find yourself in an airport.  If you do, here are five types of people that you are sure to encounter.

The Very Important Businessman

The plane is full of passengers and every seat is taken. The flight safety video has played throughout the cabin and the flight attendants have requested that all electronic devices and phones be placed on airplane mode during takeoff. To your right, a man has his laptop on his tray table and is still on his cell phone, ignoring the flight attendant’s instructions. He’s dressed in business clothes and is speaking loudly on the phone about an upcoming meeting. You wonder if he’s oblivious to how loudly he is speaking, or if he wants everyone in the plane to believe that he is as important as he is portraying himself to be. After being coaxed by the flight attendant into putting away his cell phone, he begrudgingly complies.

The Line Jumper

He starts lining up at the gate 20 minutes before the boarding process begins. He has to be first on the plane, even though he has an aisle seat. You’re puzzled, because the last time you flew, everyone on the plane arrived at the destination at the same time regardless of how quickly they boarded the plane. This doesn’t only occur while boarding, however. After the flight, he is the first passenger to stand up and remove his carry-on bag from the overheard bin as soon as the seatbelt light is turned off, no matter how far back in the plane his seat is.

The Super Extrovert

You can sense her talkativeness as soon as she sits one seat away from you at the gate, while there are about 50 open seats available. Within a minute of sitting down, she asks you where you’re from. Out of politeness, you reply and ask the question in return, which was the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Before you know it, you’re being told every detail about her recent divorce and her sister who’s in jail. The plane starts boarding and you feel a sense of relief because you’re about to be free. You fasten your seatbelt and settle in to your window seat, only to see her moseying down the aisle closer and closer to your row. With horror, you watch as she places her luggage in the overhead bin above your row and happily sits down in the seat next to you. The worst part? You forgot your noise cancelling headphones at home.

The High Maintenance Flier

Your flight was supposed to board at 4:55 p.m., and it is currently 5:10 p.m. You watch as a woman approaches the gate attendant and begins asking about the hold-up. “The flight attendants are finishing up on cleaning the cabin,” the gate attendant replies. “It will only be a few more minutes.” The lady huffs and puffs back to her seat, mumbling obscenities under her breath. Once everyone has boarded the plane, you’re ready to settle in for a smooth ride to your destination, but realize the lady sitting next to you is the same lady who had a bone to pick with the gate attendant. After guzzling her can of ginger ale while eating the fast food she brought onto the plane from the terminal, she asks you if you can stand up in the aisle so she can walk to the restroom. Just one inconvenience on the flight isn’t bad, you tell yourself. An hour and four ginger ales later, she asks you to stand up again. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I keep having to get up and go,” she laughs. She doesn’t know why? Perhaps it’s the five cans of ginger ale.

The Ideal Passenger

This man is a lone traveler like yourself, subtly smells of cologne, and is wearing AirPods. He sits down next to you, slightly smiles, and pulls his tablet out of his bag. Throughout the flight, he keeps his tray table tidy and declines extra beverages from the flight attendant. He even opens the window shade so that you both can see while flying over the Grand Canyon. He does not blast the A/C and does not hog the armrest. He even offers you his complimentary bag of pretzels because he is allergic to gluten. Once the flight is over, you both grab your luggage, exchange a “Have a great day!” and exit the jet bridge.


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