Have you ever wondered about the people that you see in an airport? They come in all ages and sizes. They wear business suits, slacks, skirts, sports gear, jeans, sweat pants, and even pajamas. Overall, each person’s airport experiences are unique.
The airline counter and security check always fascinate me. Some passengers are smiling. Some are frowning. Some show expressions of anger or frustration. Whatever the emotion or expression, every person has a story.
Families always seem to be the most entertaining ones to watch for me. Children with their latest-movie-themed rolling backpacks, the toddlers in their strollers, or the babies wrapped tightly against their mothers are usually oblivious to the frustration of their parents, who are trying to keep it all together. Now, there are the exceptions, like the crying babies or the toddlers throwing tantrums.
Watching people’s reactions are just as amusing. For example, there are those quiet bystanders who can shout, “Get your child under control!” without even speaking a word. Their glaring eyes and disgusted look says it for them. Then there are the sympathetic ones, with tilted heads and sorrowful eyes trying to give advice like, “Maybe they’re hungry,” or “They must be tired.” In the end, everyone, including the parents, hope that the crying stops before they board the airplane.
My second favorite people to watch are the elderly couples. The cutest ones look like they’ve been married 50-60 years. They met and married during a time when technology was not part of the dating process. During their courting stage (aka dating process), the young men met the family, called the home phone, and picked up their dates at the door. They dressed up. Belts were worn around the waist, not under their buttocks with boxers hanging out. Ladies wore clothing that covered their bras and anything else that wasn’t deemed appropriate to show. Times were different. There’s something special about watching these couples. I love watching them hold hands, a symbol of unity after the ups and downs they have experienced through the years.
The young couples are fun to study. The arm-in-arm, wide-eyed, you’re the best thing in the world expression, easily shows who the new lovebirds are. As far as they know, their fairy tale will last forever with no speed bumps along the way. They will have the perfect home, with the perfect careers, and the perfect children. The air around them yells, “Isn’t life grand?” Shouldn’t everyone feel this way at least once though?
Single passengers are more confusing to identify. Those with business suits and briefcases are generally traveling to or from a work-related trip. It’s the others that I like to guess. Are they leaving home or flying home? Was it planned or last-minute? Are they being reunited with their lover or are they leaving a bad break-up? Are they visiting family or friends? Are they attending a wedding or a funeral? Are they attending a sporting event or just wearing their favorite jerseys? Whatever the case, everyone has a travel story.
Nowadays, waiting passengers will usually bury their heads in electronics to read, text, email, check their social media sites or listen to music. However, there are those rare occasions where they may spark up a conversation with someone nearby, often sharing their trip details or life story. What type of waiting passenger are you?
In the end, the lives of waiting passengers may be different; but their internal dialogue is the same. They share a common goal.
“Get me to my destination on time. No delays.”
“Please let my carry-on luggage fit in the overhead compartment.”
“Do NOT sit me next to a crying baby, an unruly child, a sick or overly talkative passenger, or the one who doesn’t understand the concept of personal space.”
Last, but not least, “Please get me to my destination safely.”