Airplane Personalities

By Isabel March

Every plane is different, and yet, every plane is the same. Though you may travel far and wide, you are more than likely to encounter at least one of these types of passengers. Perhaps even you are one of them. Let this guide serve as your go-to resource for determining your airplane identity—if you are one of these people, know that you are an integral component of the plane travel experience… for better or for worse.

Are you the screaming baby?

To fit this category, you have to A) be a baby and B) scream at the most inconvenient times imaginable. Other qualities include drooling, suspicious smells, and receiving pitying, affectionate glances from middle-aged women across the aisle. Though you are single-handedly causing intense anxiety among most of your fellow passengers, you have immunity: you’re a baby. Try this again in ten years and we won’t be so understanding.

Are you the stressed-out mother?

If this is you, then it is most likely that the aforementioned screaming baby is also yours. You are often seen standing at the front of the plane cradling your child, hair disheveled, eyes wild. You mutter your apologies constantly on behalf of your child to anyone who will listen. You also win the award for Most Frequent Visitor to the Bathroom. We all pity and admire you, but we wouldn’t want to be you.

Are you the attractive-even-after-eight-hours person?

If this is you, you are both my greatest enemy and greatest inspiration. You have defied the very laws of nature and somehow managed to look completely gorgeous even after eight hours of a sleepless, uncomfortable flight. I will glare at you jealously from the confines of my oversized sweatshirt and airplane blanket (you know those blankets—the ones you swear you’ll never use at the beginning of the flight?) as you walk the aisle like a runway. You inspire in your fellow passengers mental thoughts such as How? and Why?

Are you the potential celeb?

You’re that guy. The guy that just looks like somebody famous. Passengers have heard the stories of chance encounters with celebrities on planes, and now they’re hoping for their own run-in with fame. At least two people will approach you during the flight and ask you: “Hey, sorry to bother you, but are you _______?” Other passengers will remain more distant, and instead of directly asking, will unabashedly stare at you for the duration of the flight. It’s creepy but hey, what can you do? After all, you do look like _______.

Are you the annoying one?

This is a wide and varied category, home to many different levels of obnoxious. The most frequently seen types include the falling-asleep-on-your-shoulder guy, the I-have-to-climb-over-you-to-get-to-the-bathroom guy, and last but not least, the open-the-overhead-compartment-way-more-than-realistically-necessary guy. Also appearing, though less frequently, are the spill-their-drink-on-you and the start-a-fight-with-the-flight-attendant guys. To qualify, you generally lack a respect for personal boundaries and exhibit self-righteous tendencies, resulting in the mild to extreme displeasure of those around you. Good advice for all members of this classification would be to STOPPIT.

Are you the guy/girl on the phone?

[Subcategory] To qualify, you’re usually experiencing some kind of emotional trauma in your life. Maybe you’re going through a rough patch with your boyfriend. Maybe you’re in a fight with a friend. Whatever the problem, you make a point of discussing it loudly and in excruciating detail over the phone while the plane is waiting to take off. By the time a flight attendant asks you to turn off your cell, all surrounding passengers are reluctantly well-informed on your personal crisis and none the better for it. You are more than likely chewing gum and waving your hands as you speak, your gestures coming dangerously close to hitting a fellow passenger in the head.

 

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