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8 passengers you meet as a Frequent flyer

A listicle detailing eight common passenger personalities you might encounter on any flight.

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8 passengers you meet as a Frequent flyer
Photo by Gerrie van der Walt

For many college students, attending an out-of-state university implies becoming well acquainted with air travel. As a frequent flyer, myself- averaging four round-trip flights between Southern California and Boise, Idaho each year- I like to think I have mastered the organized chaos that is air travel. However, despite three years of experience navigating airport security lines and carefully cramming my life into two dusty suitcases, one thing still manages to surprise me- people. Regardless of whether or not an airline practices assigned seating, I consistently end up next to or between some very interesting characters. Passengers that many of you might recognize.

Here are eight of those passengers:

1. The Newbie

Photo by fatman Wong

Probably the easiest personality in this list to identify, the Newbie is a first-time flyer. Depending on where they are seated, these passengers exhibit distinct behaviors. For example, when seated by the window the Newbie will, undoubtedly, be glued to it for the duration of the flight. Conversely, in the aisle seat, the Newbie will anxiously observe all the inner workings of the commercial jet. All in all, the Newbie is a relatively docile passenger... until you hit turbulence.

2. The Flighty Sleeper

Photo by Cassandra Hamer

Sitting next to this passenger is very similar to staring at someone wearing sunglasses. You can't really tell if the flighty sleeper is truly asleep, or if their eyes are just closed.This passenger is especially perplexing around the time when drinks and snacks are distributed by the flight attendants. There's a 50/50 chance that the passenger will remain inactive or rise from the dead like a peanut starved zombie.

3. The Honeymooners

Photo by Drew Coffman

In just about any other setting, PDA is accepted by the public with generalized indifference. However, when you and the lovebirds in question are seated mere inches away from each other in a metal capsule 10,000 feet above the earth, it is entirely impossible to ignore even the most innocent gestures. In this scenario, you might manage to find solace in a set of headphones and a sleep mask.

4. The International Tourist

Photo by rawpixel

You might recognize this traveler before even boarding the plane. More often than not, their carry-on bags and personal items are overflowing with souvenirs. Once boarded, you may notice these passengers are very quiet compared to others in this list. Maybe they don't know the language very well or, possibly, they are mentally preparing for a long journey ahead.

5. The Unattended Child

Photo by Pan Xiaozhen

When considering this particular passenger, one question comes to mind: "Where are your parents?" Perhaps they are seated elsewhere on the plane. Or, maybe they are awaiting this child's arrival at the airport. In the absence of parental supervision, you might automatically expect the worst from this passenger. But, fear not! In this age of technology, you can fly soundly knowing this passenger is fully invested in the apps on their iPad.

6. The Hottie with a Shawty

Photo by Alex Blajan

This is it, the Nicholas Sparks meet cute you'll recount to your grandchildren in the years to come. You spark up a conversation, hoping this passenger will readily accept the invitation, even if it's just to make these three hours slightly more bearable. It's 20 minutes til landing and they break the dreaded news, they're off to visit a significant other. You grapple with melancholy and perpetual loneliness as you deboard the plane. Then, once you've entered the terminal, you're reminded that there's a whole world out there and Ryan Gosling is somewhere in it.

7. The Change-of-Pacer

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven

At first, this passenger may exhibit behavior very similar to that of the Flighty Sleeper. However, once you hit cruising altitude, this passenger comes alive. They will ask you questions about your shared destination, even if this is your first visit. Intrigued now and wanting to know more, this passenger will readily reveal their plans for permanent settlement. Such a commitment may seem daunting to those of us who are only temporary or seasonal residents, but the dedication and enthusiasm of the Change-of-Pacer will inevitably earn them your appreciation and respect.

8. The Open Seat

Photo by Kay

The open seat is a rarity akin to winning the lottery. Although you're probably not seated in First Class, having a free seat sure makes you feel like it. The freedom to stretch out and not worry about the comfort of others around you seems an impossibility in modern times. Therefore, consider this as an opportunity to indulge your inner fantasies of one day owning a private jet.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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