Last week, I painstakingly compiled a list of The Top 11 Most Annoying Airline Passengers. This week, a tip of the hat to The Top 11 Most Amazing Airline passengers.
1. The Full Passport Passenger of Mystery
When TFPPOM nonchalantly reaches for their tattered passport in the check-in line, you take notice. Stamps of every hue cover what little passport real estate remains—a kaleidoscope of international swashbuckling on full display.
You have never felt passport envy until now. Where have they been? Where are they going?
2. The Well-Traveled Child
Wise beyond their years, this kid has toured 72 countries extensively by the time they’re 7. What’s that you’re working on, Lil’ Johnny? A coloring book? Oh, a draft United Nations agreement for peace in the Middle East? Carry on. Might you pass the coloring book then?
3. The Former Flight Attendant
Order them a scotch. Sit back and listen. Everything you ever wanted to know about the business of flying is locked up in The Former Flight Attendant. Fancy gossip? They have plenty of that to go around, too.
4. The Seat Sacrificer
Airlines will occasionally entice a willing passenger with overnight hotel stays and other perks if they sacrifice their seat for whatever reason. This is where The Seat Sacrificer becomes somewhat of a god. Most passengers are nowhere near as flexible with their iteneries, or even concerned with the airline’s dilemma for that matter. The Seat Sacrificer is a true team player free from the chains of schedules and priorities.
5. The Returning Military Personnel
Always a heartwarming story despite your personal opinion on war. Especially if you’re lucky enough to witness the actual reunion at the terminal with their loved ones—man, powerful stuff.
6. The First Time Flyer
I can board a plane here in California and be in New York later today. Big deal. This means nothing to me. Not so for The First Time Flyer. Everything about flying is equally mind-blowing and frightening. Take offs, turbulence, landings—each event is a notch in The First Timers belt.They even pay attention to the mandatory safety presentation.
If you’re sitting window, offer them your seat. Point out the Grand Canyon. Even if you’re over Tennessee.
7. The Book Reader
The Book Reader has a certain Zen like quality to him/her. So engrossed in the details of their book, they’ll rarely participate in lengthy conversation, if at all. No chaos, no drama, no attitude. Just a good book and a long flight. Do not disturb The Book Reader.
8. The Eye to Eye
You don’t know The Eye to Eye, but you two share something special, be it callous comments directed towards a Top 11 Most Annoying Airline Passenger or inside jokes on an event you both witnessed. You’re not friends. Not even acquaintances. Just kindred Eye to Eye spirits.
You’ll go hours without saying a word, but by the end of the flight, you exchange well-wishes and a few more subtle jabs at annoying passengers.
9. The Million Mile Business Flyer
The very definition of efficiency, these folks know how to fly. Given that a significant portion of their time is spent in airports and on planes, one would be wise to study their habits and techniques. Note the lack of oversized carry-ons. Ready for business. Precise. Calculated. Always calm.
One minor gripe, though, Million Mile Business Flyer: Lose the smug look on your face while cutting in front of us common folk en route to your short business class boarding line.
10. The Middle Seat Saver
Ever flown Southwest? Then you know this trick. If the flight is not full, you and The Middle Seat Saver have an unspoken agreement to pile your stuff between you. Avoid eye contact with boarding passengers. The games we play.
11. The Roadblock
You’re about to miss your connecting flight. And nobody cares. Except for The Roadblock, who senses your desperate urgency. They’ll block traffic in the aisle to give you a jump on those few precious seconds. Good flying karma is coming your way Roadblock.