Anyone who has been to the airport knows that it is a parallel universe filled with an eclectic bunch of characters.
No longer bound by the commitments of work and daily routines, people lose all sense of perspective as the holiday mood washes over them and their inhibitions fly out the gate.
You’ll gradually come to the realisation that you should have paid that extra £20 for access to a premium lounge because somehow the departure hall doesn’t seem so big anymore, and that four-hour delay that’s just been announced has been made slightly more unbearable by these people:
The business class traveller
“This very expensive three-piece suit is a fast track pass to my very expensive business class seat,” one frequent flyer explains.
“It’s a visual representation of my position in the upper echelon of the passenger pecking order”.
A rare sight in the conventional departure lounge, these people will never be seen in the rabble with the rest of us.
More often than not they’ll be looking down on you from some sort of premium facility whilst drinking a skinny little latte and holding a copy of the FT.
Beware, these men and women will take every opportunity (verbal and otherwise) to indicate their importance and will peacock all the way through to their cushy, spacious seat.
These slick flyers treat the exclusive departure lounge as their own ping-pong room and can navigate its labyrinth of corridors with considerable ease.
Whilst casually waving their top-tier golden membership card and flashing a smile, they’ll usually breeze through security and probably won’t be subject to the kind of invasive treatment the rest of us are accustomed to.
They’ll generally be first to board and first to disembark and be glued to their phone before take off just so they can send a few more emails to other important people in suits before they get to where they so obviously need to be.
Upon taxiing they’ll tell you, and anyone else who’ll listen, how they were able to fire off a grand total of four emails during this short window of ‘business opportunity’.
After all, time is money.
And as they scoff at the rest of us in economy who are fidgeting around trying to turn on our TV and ram our bags in the overhead lockers, they will claim that paying more to send a few emails before take off was critical.
On learning of their social standing, there’s not a lot you can do apart from applaud their actions and concede that you deserve to wait at the gate and fly economy for having such an unimportant and unrewarding job.
The upgrade optimist
Good effort. But not good enough.
Unfortunately, there’s no room for you in business class because of all those business people sending emails.
It’s been discovered that those who push for an upgrade have a 1% chance of success and a 99% chance of creating an awkward situation with the check-in attendant.
These people are impressive only for their sheer confidence and audacity, but their ultimate failure is in not realising that business class will be populated by all of those very important people in suits who can actually afford their seats.
The one with the Go Pro
If you’ve ever been hit in the face by a rogue Go Pro selfie stick I feel your pain.
These individuals are obviously too excited for their flight and must record their every moment before uploading a five-hour clip of their holiday to YouTube for the world to see.
The nervous flyer
These people haven’t flown in years and still think that passengers need to applaud pilots and cabin crew after take off and landing.
They will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
These folks don’t take any chances when it comes to their £20 return ticket and arrive at the airport with approximately 6.5 hours to spare.
They can be easily identified by their meerkat-like behaviour whenever the next flight is announced.
Duty-free? Yes, please!
“I’m saving a massive £2 on this large bottle of Katie Price’s new perfume! How great is that?!” one woman says to her hen party pal.
This group will run riot in duty-free in search of a bargain.
They will load up on confectionery, alcohol and fragrances and pay a massive £2 less than they would normally pay on the high street.
Interestingly, you never see these people in Gucci or Prada shops outside of an airport, but as the holiday mood sweeps over them they justify their frivolous expenditure as ‘part of the holiday’.
The Wi-Fi wanderer
iPad? Check. iPhone? Check. Mac? Check. Go Pro? Check.
These individuals will possess every bit of tech known to man just so they can stay on the grid.
What they fail to realise is that they have to spend about 20 minutes before take off making sure each device is in airplane mode.
The well-seasoned traveller
These individuals know how it’s done.
Well versed in airport etiquette, they respect their fellow passengers and are more than happy to answer any questions from those who arrive 6 hours before their scheduled flight departure.
This is the person you want to be.
These individuals are stealth-like. They will close their eyes for a ‘minute’ and wake up five hours later thinking they were in a coma.
Safe to say, they generally miss their flight, but more often than not blame someone else.
The kids that know what they’re doing
These kids have it all figured out and have flown more often than their parents.
Those who have connecting flights but weren’t allowed to disembark at the same time as the prestigious business traveller that everyone aspires to be.
As the business traveller rushes to get to a WiFi hotspot as quickly as possible to hit send on his sixth email of the day, he/she prevents others from disembarking, leaving many rushing to their next flight.
Annoyingly, this type of traveller will plead with fellow passengers to help them skip the queue.
The one who packed their life
They obviously didn’t read their airline’s baggage policy.
They think the rules don’t apply to them and think they have it all figured out.
They have picked their place in the line perfectly, scripted their plea in their heads, consciously decided to dress a little smarter than usual and are hoping to convince the check in attendants to let them board the plane.
Low and behold, they fail.
Exceeding the baggage limit by a whopping 30kg, they will admit defeat easily but then have the audacity to open their suitcase at the check in desk, watching their life spill out all over the floor. Items will be shoved into hand luggage and on occasions you may hear one of these travellers ask other passengers to take their extra items onto the plane. Excuse me?