10 Types Of People Who Will Always Be On Your FlightA few weeks ago, I was flying home from a blissful vacation, trying to ignore a screaming baby a few rows ahead of me and cringing at the cacophony of phlegm-y coughs coming from the seat behind me, when I realized that every flight is exactly the same. Looking around me, it was as though I’d been dropped smack dab in the middle of a roster of characters that work together to make air travel the uniquely strange, gross, frustrating experience it is. Who are these people that seem to be present on every flight, ever? Let’s break it down in list form…

1. Patient Zero. This person is always sitting a couple rows behind you. They usually remain silent until you’ve reached cruising altitude, when they take a deep, rattling breath and release an onslaught of mucus-flinging, seat-shaking, dangerously contagious-sounding coughs. You will attempt to hold your breath to avoid ingesting all the germs they’re hacking into the stale airplane air, but your efforts will prove worthless, and two days later, you’ll wake up with the same damn cough.

2. The Gassy Gus. This is pretty self-explanatory, right? This person got a little too excited about the in-flight beef stroganoff and now their digestive system is rebelling–and the rest of the passengers are suffering dearly.

3. The Fearful Flyer. I know this person well, because I was this person for many years. You’ll find them either having a full-blown freakout, crying, digging their fingernails into the person sitting next to them, and whispering “We’re all going to die” at any sign of light turbulence, or so bombed on anti-anxiety meds that they’re slumped over in their seat mumbling gibberish (once I tried to convince everyone on the plane to join the circus with me).

4. The Spoiled Toddler. They’re running up and down the aisles throwing crackers and having random screaming fits and generally ruining everyone’s life. Their parents seem to think this behavior is adorable. This toddler will grow up and get a job on Wall Street and cause the next massive collapse of our financial system.

5. The Traumatized Parents. Their toddler is also having a fit, but they definitely don’t think it’s adorable. In fact, they’re mortified, and spend the entire flight desperately mouthing “Sorry!” to everyone who makes eye contact with them.

6. The Guy Who Still Thinks It’s 1963. Back in the day, airlines hired young, leggy, single ladies as stewardesses and encouraged them to flirt with their passengers, who were mostly men flying on business. Even in 2013, there’s always at least one boorish oaf who’s trying to turn a noon flight to Denver into the swingin’ sex club he remembers from his misogynist glory days. He’s slapping the flight attendants’ asses and wolf-whistling during the safety demonstration. He’s the worst.

7. The World’s Most Obvious Tourist. Fanny pack. Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. Severe sunburn. Socks with sandals. You know the drill.

8. The Chatty Seatmate. You’ve been traveling for 11 hours. You’re exhausted. You can’t wait to pop in your headphones and try to nap for the last leg of your long journey home. You’re so close. But then…. “Hi! Where are you from? Ready to go back to reality? Did you see this week’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice’? I just love that show!” Alas, you’re sitting next to a chatty seatmate. Sometimes this can lead to a really fascinating conversation, but usually it involves spending hours nodding your head and wishing you’d learned how to sleep with your eyes open.

9. The Feuding Couple. Travel can be hard on a relationship. Want proof? Listen to the couple duking it out a few rows in front of you. “Seinfeld” captured this couple perfectly in Elaine and Puddy, who broke up and got back together multiple times during the course of an international flight. Just pray you don’t meet the same fate as Vegetable Lasagna and somehow get seated between two angry lovers.

10. The Heavy Drinker. You’re on a 6AM flight. The flight attendant comes around and takes drink orders. The woman next to you orders a double vodka and coke, then continues flipping through her People magazine. An hour later she orders another one. Is she a functioning alcoholic, or is it 5 PM in whatever time zone she’s coming from? You’ll probably never know. Cheers!


This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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  • DownSouth Transplant

    *sigh* I was responding to O’Phylia

  • ETC

    LOL, this list was too true. There is one more “type” I always run into during my trips, the 30/40 something divorced/single white man who wants to tell me ex-wife sob stories. Lawwwd, if I have to hear one more “but I was so good to her, how could she do this to me?” stories, I am gonna lose it!

  • The Comment

    These Clutch photos be killing me.

  • Kay

    I admit, I am the fearful flyer. It seems no matter how often I do it, flying scares the bejesus out of me. I took a plane only last month to New York and though the flight was extremely short (about an hour and a half) I freaked out the whole time. The only thing that kept me calm was closing my eyes, praying and trying to read a magazine. I even clutch the arm rests when I feel turbulence. But I hope I’m not horrible enough that I distract other passengers. LOL.

    • Nicoline

      Im with you!

      I hate to admit what Im about to say but here goes!
      DISCLAIMER: Im not racist at all! I actually had a group of professors in a college course deem me a “beacon of justice”.

      I saw a group of 8 Muslim men waiting to board my flight and I purposely missed my flight. I know stupid and ignorant….

    • The Comment

      Oh God No! Please don’t feel that way.

      That is your god given right to use your intelligence to preserve your life. The U.S. Government and it’s PC policies is doing nothing to protect the lives of U.S citizens.

      How do you NOT know if some TSA employee just let them walk buy w/o checking underneath all that clothing?

      Why just last week did eight 7-11 chains on the East Coast just got busted for human trafficking—the say the largest yet–. Where the owners kept the slaves on their rental property. How in the world after 9/11 can someone from Pakistan smuggle in slaves to work for free @ 7-11????

      And you want to feel bad cause your red flags are saving your life.

      Girl you better embrace that cause the government is doing a piss poor job enforcing the laws on the books. let alone keep out terrorist who are on a serious mission to blow us to pieces.

    • Jeanette

      @ Nicoline, LMAO! LMAO! LMAO! You got me crying tears over here! Bless you for your honesty. I almost did the same thing when I was in route to L.A. from N.Y. a little after 911 but I had the heart to get on the plane anyway. It was torture the whole way and I kept my eyes WIDE open for any suspicious activity. Especially, when I saw one muslim man (who was sitting a few rows ahead of me) looking very agitated. The flight attendant had to sit next to him and calm him down for reasons unknown. Maybe it was becuase of people like me who eyeballing him, lol. I did feel a little bad (after I got home safely) but I couldn’t help it at the time. So I understand what you’re saying.

    • Bee

      lol… girlll

  • Eduardo

    “The Spoiled Toddler. They’re running up and down the aisles throwing crackers and having random screaming fits and generally ruining everyone’s life. Their parents seem to think this behavior is adorable. This toddler will grow up and get a job on Wall Street and cause the next massive collapse of our financial system.”

    Brilliant, thank you.

    Damn those spoiled kids.

    • The Comment

      I know a lot of spoiled brats working at Starbucks. Not that that is a bad thing.