Let’s face it, for most people going to the airport is a rushed, hectic, and excited experience. Generally traffic around the area is brutal, we’re told we need to be 3 hours early for international flights, we wait in an incredibly long line to fight for squished seats in the middle of a 4-pack, then we feel our pulse raise for absolutely no reason as we walk through security. For some it’s early in the morning, for others late at night. Some have been on the road for more than 24-hours and the airport gate lounge serves as a type of limbo – a giant waiting room that consists of large variety of timelines, agendas, and personalities. Leaving YYZ at 10:40pm we embarked on a 13.5 hour flight to the United Arab Emirates; the first leg of a 34-hour jaunt that will eventually land us in Denpasar, Indonesia.
It seems that no matter which airport you are departing from, transferring in, or arriving at a final destination, you can always find the same grouping of similar characters occupying the expensive airport bars, fighting for wall space next to the power outlet, and running full speed down the moving walkway as their name is broadcast over the loudspeaker for the “final call”. There seems to be easily made generalizations about people that occupy an airport.
The Family Man: These popular creatures can easily be identified by bright floral shirts and are usually sporting a fedora or similar large hat. They tend to be high-strung, red-faced, and frantically trying to keep track of their family, their luggage, and themselves.
The Business Pro: Easily identifiable by a business casual attire, a carry on of a small rolly-bag or briefcase, and will be the only people to stop at a shoe shine station. You can easily tell by the melancholic look in their eye that they’d rather be wearing a comfy pair of sweats and proudly playing Super Mario Kart on Nintendo DS.
The Comfort Guy: Perhaps the exact opposite of the business pro; this character couldn’t care less what their appearance says about them. They’re focused on overall comfort. Usually seen in a baggy set of warm sweats, a large sweatshirt, and a memory foam neck pillow that they never seem to take off. They can generally be found sleeping in almost any position around the waiting areas.
The Tech Wiz: Easily identifiable by a larger than normal carry-on bag, a massive set of headphones connected to an Iphone in their pocket, and fruit-ninja running on the Ipad in their hands. If you can avoid getting behind these folks in a security check you’ll be better off for it. These characters tend to gravitate towards the few wall outlets placed strategically around the airport and can be heard complaining about the speed of airport wifi.
The Confused Soul: It doesn’t matter how early this person arrives at an airport; they’re constantly confused, rushed, and easily flustered. They feel like they’re always a little bit late, and tend to be the first in line when the plane begins to board. Confused staring at the signs that light the hallways and a circular walking pattern are a sure way to distinguish these people.
The Vagabond: This person is incredibly easy to spot, as they usually have a large backpack sitting above their shoulders. They can be seen wearing alpaca sweaters and parachute pants with elephants on them. They usually have long hair, the mean are bearded, and women have some form of bead or string in their hair.
With a careful balance of these generalizations one can maximize their time, comfort, and energy in any airport. It’s another 14-hours to Denpasar, Indonesia and it’s time for me to catch a nap.