In my 26 years on Earth I have spent many an hour in airports. Ten hours at Heathrow, 4 hours in Frankfurt, 6 hours in Sydney, 3 hours in Baltimore, 2 hours in Cleveland and more.
And what have I done in all these hours?
Well naturally, what any good writer does……I have observed.
There are so many interesting characters at airports. You see people from all over the world. People who are happy. People who are devastated. Most often people who are stressed out. You see jokesters, hipsters, fashionistas, drag queens, rock stars and bums. Sometimes it feels like a visit to the zoo.
But the most annoying travelers, are the most interesting of all. And so here is my list of the top 10 most annoying travelers based on my observations.
1. Mothers Who Won’t Stop Their Children From Screaming
All babies scream. Babies do get upset especially with changes of cabin pressure with take off and landing. Heaven knows I was one of those babies, just ask my mother. But I am talking about those mom’s who have absolutely no control over their grown children and their screaming fits. They let the screaming go on before you have even got on the plane. Everyone looks around at each other, praying to the highest power that they will not be cursed with the task of sitting next to this oh-so-pleasant child. The child kicks and screams and turns red in the face and the mother just says, “Come now honey, please be quiet. It’s ok.” Honey? Please? That is not going to work with the demon child you have on your hands. Those words will just make him scream louder and make you look like an even bigger push over.
Avoid these screaming travelers at all costs!!
2. The Leaner
We all like to take a snooze on the plane, especially on a night flight. But many a time I have been seated next to someone who likes to…lean. It starts off with the snoring (which is tolerable if you have your earphones on). Then as they get into a deeper and deeper sleep you realize they are moving closer and closer to you. You shift over in your already-tiny-seat and clear your throat in hopes this leaner will get the point. He does not and instead starts leaning even closer to you. By half way through the flight you have this guy with his head snuggled up on your shoulder and you have to politetly jerk his head back to his side of the seat. He doesns’t even wake up and instead just commences leaning on the poor bastard on the other side of him.
3. The Talker
I think I am guilty of being this traveler. You can usually see this traveler from a mile away. She or he is the one who has already chatted with the pilot, ticket collector and flight attendant. He might be a used car salesman, insurance collector or telecommunicator, either way he loves to gab. She might be a grandma, a school teacher or a ‘homemaker’. She has been dying to talk to someone all day and then there you are…like a brilliant blank canvas. Before you even sit down the talker is up on their feet, dying to introduce themselves to you. You are tired and moody and just the look on this talkers face is making you want to run. As soon as you are set up and ready for your journey these talkers start going on about their trip, their brother’s daughter’s half-sister and their accounting job. Mmmhmm, yeah, that’s interesting, wow, great, yeah I know. You are doing everything in your ability to make them shut up. You are wondering if you have the ‘I’m going to kill you’ look in your eye. But obviously you do not because they are still talking. And somehow, after 5 hours, they are STILL talking. You haven’t said more than 5 words. You leave knowing their entire life history and praying to God that you never bump into someone like this…ever again.
4. The Technology Freak
Is it really necessary to pull out your laptop, iPhone, iPod, Kindle and Flip? For some people I guess it is. How much entertainment do you need? These travelers can be annoying just by taking up your space with digital technology. You are trying to sleep but there is a glowing screen right next to you. You are forced to watch a scene (sans audio) of yet another Tyler Perry movie that you had no intention of watching in the first place.
I really don’t mind this traveler but please…all in moderation. You don’t need every digital technology out there. You won’t be THAT bored.
5. The Drinker
They smell of booze. They look like a booze hound. And sure enough as soon as you take off they ask for a double Scotch. Seriously? You need to get drunker than you already got in the terminal? Look that is fine, just please don’t barf on me as I have no interest in cleaning that up.
6. The Seat Hogger
Did you know it is bad plane etiquette to push back your seat to the lowest possible setting without asking the poor bastard behind you? We already don’t have enough leg room as it is but now you are practically laying in our laps and we are supposed to be all excited about it? It’s ok if you want to put it back a little, but please just ask the person behind you if its ok. It makes that person behind you want to kill you just a tad bit less.
7. The Tell it All
Some people do not have any filters. It may not be the best idea to talk loudly about your latest bikini wax on a plane ride as everyone can hear you! Some people also want to gab about their recent break up, relationship problems, personal dilemmas and work spats. That’s fine if you don’t talk about it at the top of your lungs. It is YOUR business, keep it that way.
8. The Sneezer
Germs. Everywhere. But what could be worse than sitting next to a sniffling, sneezing, coughing passenger? If you are sick and are traveling, try to take some drugs with you to clear you up. Its gross and not too much fun for the people around you.
9. The First Timer
Oh. My. God. Is that a cloud?
Yes, yes it is.
AHH I’m scared, can you hold my hand? What’s happening? Are we going to die?
No, no we are not.
The first time traveler can be cute but not so much when they are practically sitting on your lap out of fear. Also asking questions like “Can you take a picture of me on this flight?” can be a little obnoxious.
10. The Seat Nazi
I got here first. This is MY seat. I paid for it. No I will not move over. No I will not get up everytime you have to pee. Or if I do I will release a loud, audible sigh so you know how much of an inconvenience you are being. This is MY seat, I have claimed it and it will forever be my seat and I am so awesome and right.
The seat nazis suck.
So remember to be a courteous flyer. There are other people around you that are just trying to get from point A to point B.