There you are, sitting at your gate, waiting an ungodly amount of time to be allowed to board. You’re listening to music or browsing through the magazine you just picked up at that little store (where you also convinced yourself you needed yet another pack of gum), bored out of your mind. The intercom announces the many lost and forgotten items of the past few minutes – they include an iPhone that has a case with dancing men on it, a pair of black boots with buckles on them (and please, if you took navy boots instead, bring them back when you come to pick up your own), a small child in a blue shirt, and a brown belt (“If any of these items belong to you, please return to the security checkpoint to pick them up. We may or may not call Child Protective Services on you”). As you sit, you see and hear things you would never encounter anywhere outside the airport. You wonder why there is a man at your gate juggling, who on earth could have lost their child in the airport (come on parents, you had ONE job), and how you could possibly run into the exact same airport-goers every time you fly anywhere. Here are the top 9 people you will undoubtedly see in the airport:
1. The Gossiper: You all know this one – the gossiper sits in the middle of the gate, yelling into their phone about something completely irrelevant (think “did you hear that so-and-so is sleeping with so-and-so?” or “last week I had the worst stomach bug”). YELLING. This cannot be stated enough. When the gossiper’s phone conversation finally comes to a close, you have approximately 30 seconds to relax before they call the next most important person in their phone to tell THE SAME STORY. You make accidental eye contact with the person sitting across from you and you realize that you are not the only one who is having a hard time not banging your head against the wall.
2. The Nauseating Couple: There they are, nuzzling each other while you try your best not to vomit. Are they trying to win an award for the most PDA at any given time in the airport? Newsflash: this award doesn’t exist! The only thing you win is everyone around you awkwardly averting their eyes. I don’t even care if you’re newlyweds heading to their honeymoon… STOP making out in the chair next to me.
3. The Runner: If you haven’t been this person before, you can’t possibly understand the shame and anxiety that comes with being the runner. All you want to do is get on that plane and you know you have approximately one and a half minutes to get there. The airport you’re in also seems to have 83 terminals. I’ve always wanted to wish these poor suckers luck and give them a motivational high five, but I don’t want to distract them from the task at hand.
4. The First-Time-Flyer: The first-time-flyer is usually a complete mess. They have bags everywhere, too many articles of clothing, no idea where their boarding passes are, and don’t know how to navigate the various aspects of airport etiquette. The first-time-flyer walks on the wrong side of the automated walkways, doesn’t know when or how to put the green tag on their oversized carry-on, and gets in line to board three boarding sections too early.
5. The Frenzied Family: The two-year-old is frantically trying to watch the planes through the window, the mom is changing the infant’s diaper on a seat at the gate, the dad is prying the two-year-old from the windowsill while simultaneously trying to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich he packed at home that morning. Part of you wishes you could offer them help, but the other part of you wants to get as far away from them as possible.
6. The Outlet-Hogger: The outlet-hogger sits himself down by the outlets and plugs in everything he owns – phone, computer, tablet, everything. Your phone is on 7% battery, you still have another flight, you need a ride from the airport, and this d-bag is never going to leave the outlet. Awesome.
7. The Sleeper: This poor bastard has probably been in the airport for days waiting for their flight. At this point they have a blanket and a pillow and a metal seat bed. They even look like they’re actually kind of comfortable… Hopefully they don’t sleep through their next flight though.
8. The 5th Ave Fashionista: The worst place to come into contact with the 5th Ave fashionista is at security – they might look fabulous, but they take about three hours unzipping their designer heeled boots, taking off their layered Prada jackets, and untangling their multiple Tiffany necklaces. Otherwise the 5th Ave fashionista isn’t too much of a problem, other than stealing all the attention away from you and your designer… yoga pants…
9. The College Girl: You can’t miss the college girl because she has her airplane uniform down pat. She’s got her Pink yoga pants, her brown uggs, her college sweatshirt, and her messy bun. Her iPhone is attached to her hand and she’s got her pastel-colored Pillowpet tucked under her arm.
Honorary Mentions: The Juggler, The Sports Fanatic, The Stand-Byer, The Unaccompanied Minor, The CEO-Asshole, The Yoga-Doer