The 12 People You’ll Encounter At The Airport


Airports are like social experiments. The spectrum of affluence, hometown and reasons for travel make the experience an interactive circus.

Some of the more obscure types of people are distinct to the airport. Here are the 12 people you see at the airport.

1. Large and in charge

Okay, maybe there’s a better way to put it. Considering the piece is about American airports, this should come as no surprise. Considering airports are a haven for fast food and multiple hours of doing nothing, they do not help the fight against obesity.

2. Young Europeans

Just as we send our obnoxious youth to study abroad in Europe, they send their best. These airport goers dress in travel appropriate attire of tight Hollister and Abercrombie tees. And they see nothing wrong with it.

3. Grumpy businessmen

Every terminal has its classy sports bar for those who are too good for a stop at McDonald’s or Sbarro. These men and women believe they are the first estate of the airport and their constant traveling warrants an appreciation from less frequent flyers. Do not be surprised to see these people growling over draft beers at 3 p.m. during their second two hour delay of the week.

4. Kid wearing I heart _____ city

There is always one poor young soul who is proud of his tourism. He bought the shirt while his parents held his place in the security line and now he’s cherishing the final minutes of vacation. Hopefully someone will send him the memo next time.

5. Gadget guy

This guy sits down at the gate an innocent traveler early for his flight. Then, he reaches into his backpack and hell breaks loose. He pulls out his 17-inch laptop and iPad Mini. He puts on wireless headphones, but it is unclear if this is plugged into his gold iPhone or one of the aforementioned electronics. He untucks his sleeves to show a digital watch and a bracelet that has been tracing his steps and calorie intake all day.

6. Pregnant women with tantrum children

Maybe it is because of the scene they cause, but they always seem to be in abundance at airports. And maybe Disney World too.

This duo includes a stressed pregnant woman who has to deal with an already obnoxious son or daughter. Dad is usually too busy reading the newspaper or buying a magazine to have interest in either party. The kid looks like he is exhausting the mother and everyone wonders if she really wants to have another kid.

7. Loyal Sports Fans

Decked out in a shirt, hat and miscellaneous article (backpack, shorts, sweatshirt, etc.), these individuals support their local sports team loud and proud. Usually, the team at hand is playing that day, and these people want to make sure everyone knows their loyalty should not be question. Even in the bowels of the terminal, their fandom can be heard.

8. The Disguised

Airports are very public places, and sometimes, people try to keep a low profile. There is always a couple wearing dark clothes and dark sunglasses. The husband usually wears a hat tilted downwards. The point is to say, “I don’t want to engage anyone in small talk.” Instead, this draws attention.

9. Famous people

Despite popular belief, not every celebrity can afford private transportation. B-list celebrities still need to fly commercial (first class, but commercial). The smart ones show up at the gate as boarding ends, but the young ones come too early. This garners many “Where do I know that person from?” mumbles.

10. Angry Mother with small children

This mom absolutely grills the attendant at check-in. Even though she asked for two sets of two seats together (for her and her husband to each sit with one of their children), the airline gave the family four individual seats. This is not going to fly, as the mother will not let her nine-year-old and six-year-old sit alone. She holds up the line until the airport employee stops giving a damn and changes the seats.

11. Orthodox Jews

A mainstay in New York City, the rest of the country catches them when they travel. They are no more abundant than any ethnic group, you just cannot believe they actually dress like that on airplanes. Expect a lot of sweat from both males and females alike and abysmal hat hair for the man at the end of his flight.

12. Slow people on Escalators

The worst. It is like they do not realize people are in a rush at the airport. Congrats on being early for your flight. I’m not, so get the f*** out of my way.

For airports that have two moving walkways, it’s time to have a fast lane and a slow lane.