Gotta Catch Em’ All: Blog-a-thon Day 5

It is 6:47 in the morning and I arrive at MCO (that’s Orlando International Airport for those of you who aren’t familiar with airport codes). So begins my trek back after being home for the holidays. Now I have spent a large percentage of my life in airports so this whole process is quite familiar to me. You show them that you have premiere status. Always convince them that you can get your bag free. If you smile at the TSA agent you will certainly get in the shorter line. Those are the normal tips and tricks of getting around an airport. But it wasn’t until the past few years and my extensive flying to and from college that I noticed that there are some very specific types of people who fly. They can easily be identified by their actions and for this reason I have compiled this list: The Airport Pokedex (and for most of you the lightbulb just came on regarding the title).

  1. The Bionic Woman: This woman decided when she woke up this morning that she was going to don every single metal bracelet, bangle, earring, nose ring, and maybe even a belly button ring. However she also happened to forget about these when she had to go through security. So naturally she takes 47 minutes removing each of them at the TSA line. Naturally she forgets one of them and then has to go back through the metal detector. And I will add the caveat that this is not sexist. If you can find an example of a guy with cufflinks, a money clip, a tie bar, and a pocket watch that he forgets to take out, I will amend this.
  2. The Sleeper Cell: I realize this isn’t a correct definition of a sleeper cell, but it is a fun play on words. These travelers are ready for bed. I am all for comfort when flying. I realize the importance of a good sweatshirt or a scarf when flying. But the girl who is in an oversized t-shirt and flannel pants is not ok. These people seem to forget that in order to get on a plane you have to go in public. Mix this with the fact that flannel pants are not acceptable in public and you have a recipe for disaster.
  3. The Jon and Kate: I have an assortment of feelings about the Gosselin parents as people apart from this archetype, but the name lends itself really well to this category. The Jon and Kate are new parents who are traveling with their children for the first time or are parents traveling with a large number of small children. When I mean “large number”, I mean when children outnumber parents (or outnumber the number of hands the parents have). You are posed with a difficult dilemma with these people. On the one hand all you want to do is avoid these people. They move at a glacial pace and are a whirlwind of chaos. But both parents also look like they haven’t slept in months, their standards of hygiene are at an all time low, and they really wish they had invested in a better form of contraception. So naturally you really want to help them.
  4. The Don Draper: This is the power business man. They have the action of getting through the airport, on the plane, and to their destination down to a complete science. He has his briefcase organized in a way for easy removal of the laptop. Always loafers or slip-ons… NEVER LACES. He’s probably the only person on the airplane who is genuinely reading the New York Times before you are allowed to use electronics.
  5. The Boy Scouts: For those who don’t know, the Boy Scout motto is “be prepared” and these passengers are just that. But they take preparedness to a new level. They are the people who not only have their liquids in a ziploc, but they have purchased the TSA approved baggie and bottles for their less-than-3-oz liquids and gels. Of course they also picked up the TSA approved locks. They probably show up to the airport 4 and a half hours before their flight… just because they want to allot time for emergencies. But I feel like these are the kind of people that, regardless of their preparedness, don’t hear the gate change announcement and miss their flight.
  6. The Eager Beaver: This is the person who really only comes out to play within 45 minutes of the flight boarding. It is pretty much industry standard that between 20 and 30 minutes of your departure the flight will board. This person is up, at the door, boarding pass in hand, and ready to go. Yes, their ticket has a boarding zone. No, they aren’t in zone 1. But they somehow think that is they are pressed up against the gate door will get them on the plane faster.
  7. The Alcoholic: Now airport alcoholics come in two forms. Form 1 is the person who is drinking lots of alcohol before the plane gets going. They are taking them to the face before the flight and all I can hope is that they are really anxious. The other form is the drinkers on the plane. Now the main thing about this that is shocking is the price. Having spent time in DC and New York, drinks are very expensive. However drinks on a plane are almost as expensive as the ticket itself.
  8. The Size Queens: There are limits on the size a bag can be. Sometimes it can be a small little diagram or something to compare. Sometimes it is a weight limit. Either way there is a limitation placed on how gargantuan your bag can be. However these people are the ones who have 2 backpacks, a purse, a pillow, and a bag full of Taco Bell to take on the plane. They then try to waddle down the aisle of the plane, hitting every single shin or foot near the aisle, then try to fit them in the tiny overhead bins. This is not ok. I don’t need you to bring the entire contents of your walk-in closet on the plane.
  9. The Rip Van Winkles: Now when I am in an airplane I am very motivated and driven to get to my Starbucks, get to my gate, and get on my plane. So these people confuse me. Why is it in every airplane in the US there is always some passed out on the floor. This past week I witnessed someone legitimately snoring while sleeping across 2 benches. Did the hotel you were staying at not have a bed? Just like flannel pants aren’t ok in public, taking a disco nap while in the middle of a public transit terminal is not acceptable.

So those are my 9 main airport Pokemon. Keep an eye out for them next time you are on your way to your departure gate. And make sure to comment below if you have any other people you have encountered frequently in airports.

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