In the past couple of years, I have travelled extensively by air; and although I’m not too fond of it, I have had to spend a lot of time at airports, in queues, in the waiting lounges and at check-in counters. All that extra time at the airport means eating, reading, listening to music or people-watching. And whether I’m doing the first three or not, observing people just happens- knowingly or unknowingly.
So here is an interesting compilation of types of travellers I observed at airports. You will have definitely seen each of these and if you hadn’t noticed them before, you surely will now.
You can obviously never miss this type. These travellers are the ones you see rushing through airports with their luggage trolleys, calling out to one another, insisting that others hurry up and garner a lot of attention for the chaos they cause. Why? Because they are perpetually late. So they will want to get ahead in line at the check-in counter, they will butt in before you at the security check and push and shove their way across stairs and escalators until they reach their boarding gate. They are often the last ones to board the flight. And there might even be announcements made to call them.
These are the absolute opposite of the Late guy. They are so lost that they will stop in the middle of nowhere and stare at their ticket/ boarding pass, the various queues, the flight information screens and all around to gather their bearings and decide which way to go next. The Forever Lost type is exasperating for they often get in the way of other passengers trying to go their own way. These people are in their own world and won’t care whose feet their trolley runs over or how many people they bump into.
This often happens with passengers who are travelling by air for the first time and I agree, airports can be daunting. There is no harm in taking your time to figure things out but one must be a little more considerate of others around and not cause a disturbance to them.
Surprisingly, even regular travellers are often lost and will do all the above mentioned things. No matter how many times they have travelled before, they will still forget to take baggage tags and go running back for them, they will leave keys or phones in their pockets, only to come out of the security check area and stuff the items in their bags and go back again.
The Panic King/Queen
Similar to the Lost Case, but hyper tensed, the Panic King/Queen seem super pessimistic. They fear that everything that can go wrong, indeed will – reaching late, losing their luggage, going to the wrong boarding gate, missing the flight. They are very anxious and will induce panic amongst others around them as well, checking and rechecking, enquiring and confirming everything umpteen times.
There is a small population of the Uber Cool travellers but it is calming to see them. They seem to have everything under control. They are not too bothered about their luggage, or gate changes, the crowd or flight delays. They are more or less on time, go through check-in and security on time, settle down near their boarding gates and are not at all flustered by the happenings around.
Another small percentage of travellers but ones that are very noticeable, they’ll be dressed chic. Their suitcases are a high end brand. You will see Apple products all over them. They sport expensive clothes, jewellery, designer shoes and bags. Chauffeurs drop them to the airport. They glide through the formalities like they’ve done this a million times. They eat at all the expensive airport outlets and will more than often purchase something at the duty free shops.
The Technology freak
This traveller is noticeable anywhere and everywhere. As soon as you spot this guy/girl, the first thing you’ll notice is wires. They probably have every possible gadget hooked onto themselves and are carrying a few others in their hand or in their bag. Phone, tablet, laptop, kindle, headphones, power banks…you name it, they have it. The Technology freak can hardly live without these gadgets. Surprisingly, they don’t forget or misplace them…ever!
I know every reader is immediately reminded of the lovey-dovey overdressed honeymoon couples that can be spotted at all airports. No offense to anybody. May the romance and bonding between all remain alive forever. But we aren’t just talking about couples fawning over each other.
There is also another interesting couple which is just the opposite- who just don’t seem to care that they are with someone else. They saunter around alone. They pick their own bags and don’t help the other. They hardly communicate throughout the trip. It almost seems as if they are forced to travel together and dislike every minute of it.
What can we say about these? The size says it all. A big group travelling together means noise, chaos, eating, drinking, chatter and a whole lot of ushering and shepherding. You will always notice two group leaders who will be trying hard to keep the whole gang together and headed in the right direction, and making sure that everybody’s tickets, bags and the like are accounted for.
The Comfily Dressed
We know how clothes and comfort go hand in hand while travelling. Convenient and comfortable clothes and shoes just make our journeys easier and a bit less tiring. The comfily dressed generally don’t stand out, because that’s the point isn’t it?
But there are also the Uber Comfy who make it seem like they’re at a Pajama Party. Yes, we get it- shorts, tank tops, palazzos and flip flops are really comfortable but don’t fool people by showing up in your night suit.
The polar opposites are those who dress to kill. Literally! One has no idea why, but these travellers will wear the most uncomfortable stuff to the point of being absurd at times. Micro mini shorts, crop tops, or even heavy saris and stiletto heels! Makes you wonder if they’re in the wrong place or you are.
Light vs Heavy traveller
How much luggage you carry doesn’t really bother anyone except maybe your own pocket because if you don’t stick to the baggage weight limit, you’re definitely shelling out a good amount of money. And obviously you’re the only one who is going to be lugging it around. But good for you if you are a light traveller and can keep your load to a minimum.
The Bad Mood Traveller
All of us, and I really mean each and every one of us has seen or heard this Bad Mood Man or Woman. He/she is perpetually in a bad mood and upset at every single person around him, right from the airline ground staff to the captain of the plane. You will hear them yelling and complaining about flight delays, luggage restrictions, banned items, gate changes, cabin temperature, and everything else under the sun. This is not a nice passenger to have around you, whether you are a fellow traveller or flight staff.
Airports are tempting, colourful and designed to make you walk…a lot! While the airport is a shopper’s paradise for some, for others, it is Foodieland. I believe airports are probably the only place in any city which will offer you a good taste of the entire country. You get to dig into foods your palate has never tasted and even those that you would love to have every single day. The Foodie makes the most of his time at the airport and never regrets it. And don’t forget the ones who carry bags of homemade goodies in their bags and start a picnic at the airport!