They’re probably the easiest to spot. Brief cases replace suitcases, laptops replace backpacks, and caffeine replaces all natural emotions. They’re dressed in crisp blue suits, pin stripes down their legs. They’ve got their Rolex strapped around their wrist and Calvin Klein’s latest stuck to their feet.
They stand impatiently in the seating area with The New York Times tucked under their arms, jabbering away on their Blackberry’s. Once on the flight, their ear buds pop in, they order a scotch, and you don’t hear from them again until the plane has landed.
They sit properly in their first class seats, legs crossed, careful not to wrinkle their pants. Tapping their shoes, checking their watches; as if time would really go any faster
2. Unmanageable monkeys…I mean children…small children
I am always astounded when I board a plane and I see a mom and a dad with a three year old, a five year old, and a two-month-old baby. Children under the age of five should not travel, period. If you don’t agree with me, or think your children are angels, when in fact they are basically just hairless monkeys, then please, feel free to prove me wrong, or ask ABC how young is too young.
They cling to their poor, sleep deprived mothers, like monkeys in the wild. They scream for bottles, yell for toys, run up and down the isles of the plane and get in everyone’s way.
In their seats, they constantly feel the need to bang their backs into the cushion, forcing the tray table on the back of their seat to throw the coke you just received from the nasty flight attendant, into your lap; its going to be a long flight.
Finally, my favorite part of children travelers (oh, the sarcasm) is the descent into the airport. Pressure builds in your ears as you drop out of altitude, subsequently making your ears hurt. When the altitude drops, cue the serenade of screaming kids and parents trying to calm them down. Do us a favor and 1. Don’t travel with small children, 2. Teach them to “blow out” when their ears hurts, and 3. If you have to travel with them, give them sleeping pills; they’ll wake up in the airport on the other side and we’ll all be much happier.
3. The never flown, and mortified
I don’t know, I think this category ranks right up there with screaming children. Yes, flying can be terrifying when you’ve never done it before. I mean who isn’t scared about flying thousands of miles in a super heavy airplane over the water for hours? Sometimes science can’t calm your fears.
No, the dinging “fasten seat belt sign” does not mean we are going to crash, it means there is turbulence and you need to put your seatbelt on; do not fall into my lap because you forgot to put it on. Fair warning.
Yes, your ears will pop when we raise and fall in altitude due to pressure; your ears are not exploding.
Yes, the plane will look and feel like we are going to do a flip when we turn; this is not the case.
And finally, no, the noise the airplane makes halfway through its decent is not your luggage being dumped from the belly of the plane, that would be the gear, we need those to land.
4. The seasoned traveler
Arrive at the airport 2 hours and 13 minutes before the flight is destined to depart. Spend an hour in check-in and security. (No more than that because we put our liquids in a bag and neatly packed our things instead of throwing everything in last minute.)
We board the plane and take our correct seat, since no one seems to understand that A27 means A27. Just because you get claustrophobic sitting in the middle seat does not mean I’m switching you for my window seat. Tough luck.
We’ve got our Bose noise canceling headphones on to drown out screaming babies and panic stricken first-flyers.
We’ve got our seats laid back, our blankets up and the window shade down; we’ve mastered the science of getting comfortable in small spaces.
We’re tuned in to the 5-inch TV monitor on the back of the seat that is being catapulted back and forth from the four-year-old in front of us. But before we know it, our eyes are shut, dozing off in a sea of chaos and waking up in paradise, undisturbed and very relaxed.