The 5 People You Meet in Air Travel

Erica and I are flying to Atlanta today for the Catalyst Conference. If yo’re at the Conference, be sure to look for the Schnoz and say “hi”.

I’ll have new content here at the blog the rest of the week: (reader questions tomorrow, winner of the random box of goodness on Thursday, and a guest post about poop on Friday) but for today here’s a repost of something from last year on air travel, with 1 bonus character I added to the list this morning.

The 5 People You Meet in Air Travel

1. The Lazy Security Lady

She’s the first person in the security line that you encounter and she has only one job. Make sure that you, your boarding pass, and your ID match up.

I’m still not sure how Erica got by her holding MY boarding pass, but needless to say she was a bit embarrassed when Erica realized it and called her out on it.

I guess she figured the next security guy would catch it? Or maybe they only check last names in West Palm Beach. Security FAIL.

2. The Guy on the Airport Golf Cart

Give this guy a horn and a 20 horsepower engine and suddenly he thinks he’s Henry the 8th. Make way for royalty, make way!!!

Look, I realize it’s not easy to drive through the foot traffic of an airport terminal, but do you have to be such a jerk about it? You drive right up behind people and then lay on your horn until they move. And when they turn around to see who it is they’re moving for, you don’t give them the “sorry to inconvenience you but I have to drive by” face, you give them the “you’re lucky I didn’t run you over because you’re a useless waste of a soul” face.

3. The Flight Attendant Charade Player

Nobody pays attention to the flight attendants when they go over the safety stuff, but if you happen to look up from your book, you might notice at least one of them is not really showing you what to do in case of an emergency.

  • He doesn’t want to put the mask on, he just pulls back on the elastic.
  • He doesn’t show you how to blow into the air tube to inflate your vest, he just flicks it.
  • He doesn’t point to the emergency exits on the air plane, he just waves his arms like he’s wafting a fart.
  • He doesn’t show you how to buckle your seat belt, he just holds up both ends and rolls his eyes as if to say, “if you don’t know how to buckle this, I hope we crash and you’re the only one who dies”.

I can’t really blame him. I’d probably mail it in if I had to go through something similar a few times a day at work.

4. The Small Bladder Guy

You’ll recognize this guy from two specific behaviors:

1. When the crew tells you that portable electronic devices are now permitted, he thinks this suddenly means you can take your seat belt off and break dance in the aisle. He immediately gets up to make a charge for the bathroom, only to be stopped in his tracks by a crew member, who was waiting for Small Bladder Guy to jump the gun. “The Captain has not yet turned off the fasten your seat belt sign, so you may not use the lavatories at this time, Small Bladder Guy. Sit down and hold it.”

2. Once the Seat Belt sign DOES go off, Small Bladder Guy is already out of his seat and halfway down the aisle like he’s being chased by a bear. Did he drink a gallon of water after he checked his bags or is his bladder the size of a kiwi?

5. The Loud Pilot

I understand if you’re bored up there in the cockpit and need someone to talk to. That’s fine. Jump on the radio and tell us our altitude and how we’re going to get to the gate 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Knock yourself out. But can we please, for the love of hammers and anvils, turn the volume down a few notches on the loud speaker?

Is there a law I don’t know about that requires everyone on board to be woken up from their nap every 20 minutes? If so, can you bring me a copy of it, as well as a napkin to clean up the blood that’s dripping from my shattered ear drums?

It would literally be more tolerable if you came out of the cockpit, walked right up to me, and screamed our estimated arrival time right into my face. At least then I could smack you in the forehead for waking up the baby in the row behind me.


6. The Sleeper

There’s 37 people being loud within a 10-foot radius of this guy, yet he’s sound asleep in an extremely uncomfortable chair at the gate.

What’s his story? Has he been in the airport for 24 hours? Is he drunk? Does he have sleep apnea? Is he hungover for a 48-hour partying binge with Rihanna and Lady Gaga? The possibilities are endless.

Next time you come across The Sleeper, spend a good 10 minutes coming up with an elaborate story for why he’s conked out in R.E.M. sleep in the middle of a bustling airport. Good times.

Any other characters at the airport that I missed?

Feel free to vent about them in the comments.