In a more perfect world, airline travel would be free from stress, all passengers and airport workers would be polite and courteous, and delays would be non-existent. We’d also all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya while waiting for our flights. Since none of those things is going to happen anytime soon, let’s work on some things we can change — notably, the habits of annoying people at the airport.
We all have our pet peeves when it comes to other people’s behaviour. I’ve written before about the annoying games airline passengers play and the annoying habits of hotels so I thought it only proper to open up about what riles me up about fellow travellers at the airport.
If you see yourself on the list, now’s a good time to fess up.
1. The person who doesn’t realize water is a liquid.
You can also substitute moisturizer, Aqua Net, coffee, soup, slurpees — just about anything that is an actual liquid really. This liquid mule likes to hold up the security line with their contraband cola and stowaway soda. Can usually be heard uttering, “Oh. I forgot that was in there.”
2. The person who hasn’t been on a plane since the year 2000.
Because we all know what happened in 2001. We started having to take our laptops and liquids out, and our shoes off, that’s what happened. This particular person doesn’t realize you just can’t just waltz up to the departure gate anymore. Can usually be found under the tutelage of security personnel, who use diagrams, mime, and sometimes puppets to explain the rules to them.
3. The person who puts their bag before humanity.
Also goes by the moniker Seat Hog. This traveller believes their carry-on, coat, and duty-free shopping bags all deserve their own seat. Old ladies and the infirm be damned!
4. The person who forgets they’re at the airport to actually take a flight.
Usually found drinking it up at the airport bar, this type of passenger is the bane of airline gate agents everywhere, and is currently the subject of a new type of phenomenon — passenger shaming. Well at least in the Netherlands. Airline staff at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport announce the offending passenger’s name followed by, “You are delaying the flight! Immediate boarding please at gate XYZ or we will proceed to offload your luggage.” Oh those ballsy Dutch.
5. The person who thinks the flight is going to leave without them.
Skulking directly in front of the boarding gate is the natural habitat of this offender, waiting for the first sign of any movement towards boarding the plane. Can also be found hounding the gate agent for early boarding or seat upgrades with any number of vague excuses or ailments. “I’ve got scoliosis/arrythmia/nervous tic disorder/Stockholm Syndrome — I NEED to get on that plane early to settle myself.”
6. The person with the free range kids.
Having given up on the enforcement side of parenting, this person occupies a wondrous zone somewhere between oblivion and neglect, not realizing (or perhaps just not caring) the havoc their spawn are creating in the space around them.
7. The person who doesn’t understand how escalators work.
Can usually be found scratching their head at the top, or bottom, of just about any escalator in the complex, blocking the path for those trying to get on or off. This particular passenger regrettably suffers from a similar ailment — hogging the entire width of the moving walkway. Move outta the way pal, this is an assembly line, and you’re hampering production.
8. The person who thinks the airport is an extension of their living room.
Can be spotted with their shoes off and their feet extended to whatever structure is handy, though primarily it’s the seat across from them. This type of annoying airport passenger generally leaves their coffee cup and newspaper scattered on the floor when they finally board as well, firm in the belief that their mother does indeed work there.
9. The person with the emotional baggage (AKA The Carousel Cuckoo)
This person suffers from the most foul of ailments — the unrestrained need to hog the baggage carousel. Can be spotted precisely at the point where baggage exits the carousel, not-so-silently cursing when their’s is not the first out of the chute. Similarly, this person is prone to extended bouts of baggage confusion — picking up luggage that is not theirs, then firing it back in unfettered disgust.
10. The person who has their shit together.
Seen gliding effortlessly through the airport, fashionably — yet practically — dressed, this type of passenger exudes an unassuming confidence while travelling. Doors open for them. They whisk through the security line. They get upgraded without asking. Their phone is inexplicably always fully charged. And they always have their boarding pass and passport at the ready, open to the identification page. In short, they are the perfect passenger. And that’s why they’re annoying — because mortal souls like us will never be like them.
What annoying behaviour have you seen at the airport?
All black and white images courtesy of Shutterstock