11 Characters You Encounter At The Airport


Spring has arrived. Corporate conferences abound. And work travel is in the air (pun totally intended).

Baseball games have good people watching. Vegas has better. But the airport? That one can’t be beat.

What characters have you seen that need to be added?

Tech Geek
This character is loaded down with all the latest gizmos and gadgets. They’re slumped up against a wall as they’ve commandeered the lone electrical outlet for charging nirvana. (Although there is now apparently such a thing as solar panels for your gear-hauling backpack). You’ll never see the whites of their eyes because they’ll never look up from a digital screen for longer than it takes to switch to a different tech toy. Look for a characteristically hipsterish outfit to complete the picture.

Looking down on the hipster Tech Geek, our Fashionista arrives for flights dressed for comfort. You will find her clad in the finest couture of name brand sweats. With perfectly applied makeup, nary a hair out of place (and emergency touch-up tools stowed in a giant designer handbag), she’ll have sweats, declaring her Juicy tushy, tucked tightly into her Ugg boots (protecting her from the recirculating 75 degree climate controlled air.) A stylistically shredded Flashdance stripper sweatshirt completes the ensemble.

Old Fashioned I Remember When Everyone Got All Dressed Up To Travel Snob
Inevitably you’ll run into the polar opposite of the Fashionista. An elder of the generations, this man or woman remembers “the good old days.” Back when traveling was part of the excitement. And everyone got dressed in their Sunday best. (Even on Mondays.) Respect. AND GET OFF MY TARMAC!

Kid In Jammies On A Leash
Sometimes it’s too much to even get dressed. Inevitably during your travel adventures you will encounter a bewildered looking Little Rascal-like child stuffed into the cotton leggings and long-sleeve nightly uniform of young children everywhere. This character’s parents are acutely aware of little Damien’s propensity to scamper off. Which is why they’ve chosen to pluck him from his bed, and adorn their precious with a stuffed monkey. But that stuffed tail isn’t fooling anyone – it’s a leash. Look for Kid In Jammies On A Leash being walked up and down the terminal hallways in a last ditch effort to burn energy.

Mom Seriously Reconsidering Her Decision To Travel With Children
Air travel is a giant pain in the tushy. Add a few unwieldy small people to the mix and this character is sure to arrive equipped with Extra Strength Tylenol and a double shot espresso for a failed effort to vanquish the bags under her eyes. Mom can be found in the check-in line – alternatively snapping at her kids to stop snapping the retracting line organizer ropey-thing at fellow passengers and screaming “For the love of my sanity DO NOT LICK THE LUGGAGE CART!” Don’t judge. (Even if she’s wearing mom jeans). Proffer a sympathetic smile and move along.

Kid Sports Team
While Mom may regret her decision to travel with wee ones, chaperones shepherding a group of smug travel-team teenagers can be found huddled in the bar. You can spot Kids Sports Team by the seven metric tons of baggage they’re schlepping. They’ll all be in matching sloppy oversize sweatshirts, but fear not – you’ll hear them coming about three terminals before they arrive in yours. Beware the overwhelming stench of sweaty sports gear and AXE body spray (applied far too liberally) if it’s the return flight.

Cougar Lady
Over in the bar along with the Kid Sports Team chaperones is Cougar Lady. She’s sitting alone, drinking her third (or fifth if her flight’s delayed) Merlot, while flirting it up with the bartender. (Watch out male chaperones.) She’ll tell you her life story – well, actually she’s telling her life story, you may just be within earshot. Fashionista would do well to note what the future holds.

Business Man
Think George Clooney from “In The Air.” This character is a rare sight. Due to the amount of frequent flyer miles amassed, Business Man awaits his expected upgrade in the “We’re Better Than You” Admiral’s Club/Lounge. (Common travelers are not allowed here. This is like the Teachers Lounge from school days.) You’re best chance to spot Business Man is finding him impatiently waiting in the security screening line. He’ll be in a business suit and carrying nothing more than an important-looking leather briefcase.

Person Who’s Clearly Never Traveled Before
Alas, despite all his importance and allure to Cougar Lady, Business Man is usually stuck behind Person Who’s Clearly Never Traveled Before in the security screening line.
TSA Agent: Please remove your jacket, shoes, belt and anything in your pockets.
Person: I have to take off my shoes?
TSA Agent: Please remove your jacket, shoes, belt and anything in your pockets.
Person: <beep beep beep> You mean my belt can’t go through the metal detector?
TSA Agent: Take off your belt. Do you have anything in your pockets?
Person: <looks confused> Puts change in bin. <beep beep beep> Oh, that’s just my phone in my pocket. Oh wait – are you talking about the pumpkin carving kit I have in my luggage? Or the six bottles of water I’m bringing in case I get thirsty. What do you mean I have to take off my belt?

Angry At TSA Guy
To be fair, it’s no wonder Angry is cranky. But there’s no mistaking this character – the cherry red bomb about to blow because someone dared ask for his identification papers. (Hmm, perhaps that was a poor choice of language.) Angry will make certain you know he is an American citizen and he knows his rights. There will be no suspension of disbelief regarding these security theatre shenanigans! He’ll huff and he’ll puff and he’ll blow your tolerance of obnoxious people right down. Because a 7 a.m. political rant is just what you need to kick off a full day of travel.

You’re the one simply trying to catch your flight and not have to deal with the “travel” part of traveling. Because that part sucks. Or, hypothetically speaking of course, you’re the girl who tries to get through security with a Costco card and then always gets searched by TSA much to the amusement of her coworkers – and then blogs about it.


Filed under Humor, Miscellaneous

3 Responses to 11 Characters You Encounter At The Airport

  1. CV

    This is so true and as someone pointed out to me on multiple occasions, there really should be separate lines for travelers based on the frequent flyer status. It’s kinda like the multiple punch free frozen yogurt card approach.

    After you’ve traveled 10 times and endured Lt Cmdr TSA’s attitude, you get a freebie.

    Families who travel typically once a year on vacation with their 2.75 kids (at least one of which is on a leash and the other is flopping around on the floor) are like the same family who shows up to frozen yogurt 1 minute before you. They got in line before you, take forever checking out the flavors (unpacking all their shit into bins), inevitably drop one of the 2.75 kids yogurts having to go back again (leave all kinds of shit in their pockets) and eventually pay allowing you to step up to the counter.

    Like they cause the frozen yogurt trip to take about 10 mins longer than it should, they cause the wait for my molestation by Lt Cmdr TSA to be 20 mins longer than it should.

    P.S. Thanks for the shout/cross link!

  2. Hilarious, and true. I’ll confess. I’m the former business traveler that’s really pissed off I’m no longer welcome into the teacher’s lounge. (not that I want to travel frequently enough to be part of the club, it’s just that when I do travel, it’s much better when you’re part of the club.)

  3. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    Nearly Naked Man – This was Papa John before 5am in the morning. After going through TSA, his belt was gone. Gone! After multiple querries to various TSA agents- he informed them he was blaming them for the imminent wardrobe malfunction because they lost his belt and he would not be able to hold his pants up through out the entire flight. Finally…… a man further ahead of us in TSA line brought back Dad’s belt. He had picked it up in error with his backpack and took it all the way to to the gate. Thank goodness he brought it back! Unfortunately for Papa – 5am – in need of a drink already and bars not open yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.