Sunday, July 10, 2016

5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight

Having recently travelled to Italy and back, and being largely bored on my flight, I got to looking around the cabin and realising that I see the same people on every flight; irrespective of class, duration or carrier.   

That got me putting them into categories....and that led to me writing this when I was absolutely sure that no one was looking over my shoulder, ready to give me a good slap in the face.  

These are my five classes of flyers.     I come under Category 4.    Just in case you were wondering.    


The Uncontrollable Child:
I seem to have the uncanny knack of booking myself into a seat directly in front of or behind the World’s Crankiest Child.     I am that person who has disciplined someone’s child at 30,000ft.       I don’t do it lightly, though; but if I pay for a flight, I’m not content to sit for 4 hours with your brat of a child kicking the back of my seat at two second intervals just because you have no control over them.   You don’t control them; I will.   

Don’t get me wrong – I like children…particularly the ones who bring doggie toys on their flights.   How can children that like puppies possibly turn into anything but wonderful adults*?  Exactly.      What I hate are children who make so much noise (that their worn out parents can clearly hear) and are left to get on with it.

Before you ask; yes, I have travelled on numerous occasions with a young child.   I have a stepson who is 16 and, for a lot of those years, he wasn’t (obviously).  He was regularly strapped into a seat on a flight as a 2-10 year old and instructed to behave.   And he did.

The only exception to my rule is sick babies.     When a baby starts to scream on a flight, everyone on board is pretty much screwed.  You can’t reason with babies.   You can’t offer to pay for extortionately priced Pringles and a Capri Sun in the hope that they’ll shut up.    You can’t bribe a baby.   Babies are too smart for that shit.     And the parents of crying, flying babies are all legends.

The parents of bratty, ill mannered, screaming 5 year olds?  Not so much.  

*Michael Vick is the obvious exception to this.  

5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight
Make it stop.   I beg you.  Make it stop. 

The Stiletto Wearing Bleached Blondes:
Lord knows, I like a pair of heels.     I’m definitely not a fan of bleach, though, but my hair is already blonde, so that might well account for that. 

I don’t mind getting dressed up every so often, if I’m going on a night out, or for dinner with Les, or even just if I’m feeling a bit low and know that a nice dress and good shoes will lift my mood.

I have NEVER, however, got dolled up to sit in an airport.    My airport wear is strictly stretchy pants, t-shirt and hoody.     My footwear?  Flip flops (if I’m heading somewhere I know will be hot), or comfy flats for any other destination.  

Wearing fitted stuff and high heels is a no go for me.    I need to be comfortable on a flight and, luckily, I don’t give a toss about what anyone else thinks of this. 

I can think of little worse that hanging around the airport lounge in a strappy dress and heels waiting to walk up those metal plane stairs, where it’ll almost definitely be windy enough to throw my dress up round my neck and show people my tan lines.      Or lack of, if it’s the outward leg. 

I have similar feelings about make up.    What’s the point?   All I’m going to do is sit bolt upright on a largely uncomfortable seat and while the hours away, wondering why anyone in their right minds would pay €4 for a quarter tube of Cheese and Sour Cream Pringles.     And then I remember: Bratty Children.

I recently got stuck behind a girl at Liverpool John Lennon who looked as if she was headed on a posh night out.    Alas, no…she headed straight to the airside Wetherspoons in 6-inch heels, a silky cat suit, and more jewelry and makeup that I own.      If she still looks that good after spending 3 hours on a Ryanair flight to Alicante and then tottering up a cobbled street on the way to her hotel, then I want to know how she did it.   And I want her barred from returning to the UK.


5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight
Who has this much time?    I'm doing well if I wash my hair before heading to the airport.  
The Arm Rest Hogger:
As I said before, I fly because I have to.    I’m not a strong enough swimmer to make it to Italy without the aid of a lifeboat of five, so it’s really the only way to see the places I want to see.

Although I’ve travelled frequently over the years, there’s one person I hate on a flight.     Yes…it’s the Arm Rest Hogger.  

This is the stranger you end up next to when you’re wedged in the middle seat between the single hippie and someone from a hen/stag party.     This is the person with whom you spend your entire flight locked in a fierce battle of wills.

There is an unwritten rule (in my head) that means everyone should have one arm rest each, with the exception of the person in the window or aisle seat.   No one, but NO ONE deserves to have All Of The Armrests.    

All passengers should claim the armrest to their left, or right, leaving the person at the window or aisle with the fabulously thrilling prospect of being able to lay both elbows down without fear of repercussion.  

Being the only person in the row with two armrests is one of the many joys of being alive.     And, as such, it should be treasured with the proper amount of gratitude and offer of drinks for the person next to you.   

Taking up two armrests when you’re in the middle seat just makes you mean.    And selfish.    And deserving of me immediately stealing the second one the INSTANT you move; go for something from your bag; summon the hostess; and/or visit the toilet.   I didn’t even *want* two armrests, but it’s suddenly become my goal in life.


5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight
Yeah, I'm just gonna stretch riiiiiiiiight out here beside you and invade your personal space, strange human I've never met before. 
The Quite No Toileters:
I am the shy, awkward traveller that falls into this category.   I refuse to move out of my seat to visit the toilet on ANY flight, unless there is a medical emergency.    I always pop to the loo before I board and I won’t drink on a flight unless I am actually seated right outside the facilities.

If I’m, say…seated near the front in Row 12A, and it’s an 11 row walk to the toilet, I will be the one with the crossed legs who is desperate to disembark first.      If I’m half way between the front and the back facilities, I simply can’t deal with the calculations and will stay put.     

If I’m in the middle or window seat, regardless of where I’m sat, I will not move.    I’m not entirely sure whether this comes from, but I’m guessing from many years getting up and down out of my seat to let people past.     I will only ever venture to the toilet if the following conditions are met:

·      * It’s not more than a few feet away; I’m at the end of an aisle and it’s vacant.
·      * I have a urinary tract infection.  

I swear I become camel like on a flight.  I retain all of my liquid until it actually causes my physical discomfort.  I’m not entirely sure why I’m like this, but it’s been going on for years, so it’s unlikely to change any time soon.    Until, of course, I am pretty old and simply cannot exist for an hour without a toilet break.   Alternatively, I might just buy those Tena lady things that I keep seeing on TV.   Actually, I might buy them now.


5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight
Even if I knew the plane bathroom looked like this, I still wouldn't go.   
The Clappers:
I understand that people are thrilled to be landing safely, despite being on the one of the safest modes of transport, but what I can’t deal with is people who actually clap on landing.

WHAF, people?    That’s like Les clapping when I deposit us in the Tesco car park in one piece in my little Toyota.    In fact, let’s not go down that particular road, as I’m fairly certain he might have done that once or twice.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I don’t like you.   I don’t get it.  Were you worried that our pilot was so bad that she/he wouldn’t make it?   If so, what the HELL are you doing on the flight in the first place?   Seriously.  

I have NEVER clapped when I’ve arrived anywhere by train, bus, tram, on foot (because obviously) or airplane, simply because I trust that the person in charge of my mode of transport has at very least passed their theory test.    If I was your pilot, I’d be raging if you clapped when I executed a textbook landing as if you didn’t think I had it in me.  

I know that you’re flying and it’s in the sky and an accident/crash will likely lessen your chances of breathing again, but really, people; show some self respect.

DO NOT CLAP.    EVER.*


5 Types of People You Encounter on Every Flight
Seriously.   Clap when your football team scores; when your favourite band play your song...anything but when your flight does what you expected it to in the first place:  land in one piece.  
* Unless you land on the Hudson and every passenger makes it out alive in some sort of miracle landing after your engines have been taken out by birds.     If that happens, knock yourself out.


Do you have anyone else to add to the list of people you find on flights?   I was going to include the harsh judgmental woman in seat 3A, but I think we’ve already established her existence.   


Suzanne x