You read a lot about the various types of airline employees – the surly, the chatty, the one who refuses to make eye contact, the one who incessantly pecks at the computer keyboard, and even the friendly.
What about the passengers? They come in flavors too.
We present to you the most frequent types of passengers that cabin crew interact with on every flight. Which type is your favorite one?
THE ABSOLUTE GENTLEMAN
He is mindful of his behaviour and is respectful towards the needs of his fellow passengers. He is seen lending a helping hand to female or elderly passengers who struggle to stow their heavy baggage during boarding. His intentions are thoughtful, and he is a pleasant passenger to have onboard. He will not steal your legroom or nudge your elbow off the armrest. Neither will he cut your queue during boarding nor block the aisle while rummaging through his carry-on bag to retrieve his earphones. He will not be caught dead discreetly removing his stinky socks.
THE SELFISH FREQUENT FLIER
They may have chalked up a huge mileage from their travels, but they are none the wiser. More often than not, they are unwilling to comply with safety regulations that inconvenience them. When instructed to raise the window shade or stow their foot rest for takeoff or landing, expect to hear a grunt from them. Likewise, expect a louder grunt when they are told to return their seats upright during a meal service. Their disgruntlement appears to be the only thing that matters to them during the flight, not their manners nor safety. Their life is over when they do not receive their choice of meal onboard. Fact: There is no Michelin-starred chef onboard. You are just missing out on a heavily processed meal that your body will thank you for – should you choose to skip it completely.
THE NERVOUS WRECK
Their faces turn as white as sheet during three important phases of the flight: Takeoff, turbulence and landing. For the claustrophobics, flying in an enclosed space without any exit points is a nightmare come true. Every passing minute spent in the skies is excruciating for them. They are vulnerable to panic attacks and feel uncomfortable about leaving their seats during the flight. If you ever find yourself seated beside a passenger who displays symptoms of claustrophobia, provide some relief with verbal assurances because they need it the most.
Gotta love “the sleeper”. This passenger spends their flight catching up on sleep. Honestly, it is impressing how some passengers can sleep the entire flight so soundly and wake up refreshed when they arrive at their destination. No matter if the flight attendants run their foot over with the cart or spill apple juice in their hair, they simply continue to sleep. This is a great way to get to your destination, in the wink of an eye!
THE CUTEST OLD COUPLE
They might be rare, but they still exist : elderly couples who paint a heartwarming picture of love through their little gestures. They appear grateful to be able to travel with their soulmate in their golden years, in spite of their fragilities and limitations. For them, love manifests itself in the skies through the smallest of actions like a soothing massage or making an accompanied trip to the washroom together. Rarely one without the other, they can be seen going on slow walks along the aisles during the lull period.
Quiet. Focused. Do not disturb. Of course, these are generalized characteristics. You know a businessman when you see him. Comes on with his briefcase and dressed in a suit. His time on the plane is spent working, which we can imagine to be very productive as there are no distractions from Email, Facebook or Twitter. The businessman is often so focused that he does not even require drinks or food. Overall this group of passengers is relatively easy to handle.
Moms and planes do not always go well together. Of course, there are different levels of comfort when it comes to flying with your child and here we will discuss two extremes.
The first type is the frantic mom: the mom that feels the need to wipe down the entire seat and surrounding seats before her child can sit. This mom also constantly places her child in her lap, in case there is a sudden bought of turbulence. As a reminder, the safest place for your child, if they are not an infant, is in their seat with their own seatbelt on.
The second type of mom is the complete opposite. This parent lets their child roam freely down the aisles. Of course, the child can’t go far since they are stuck in a metal tube, however there is a lot of safety equipment which should not be tampered with by children. If this is you, we recommend you keep a closer eye on your child for the sake of keeping the safety equipment intact.
THE HYPERACTIVE CHILD
A fact that often goes unhighlighted by parents to their children: The aircraft cabin is not your playground. Unbeknownst to many parents, the aircraft is a dangerous place for kids who are left unsupervised. Moving meal carts, spilling overhead compartments and unforeseen turbulence are potential accidents waiting to happen when parents allow their children to run freely along the aisles.
It is understandable that the novelty of flying is real for young children, who are often unable to sit still or keep their volumes down because they simply cannot contain their excitement. Can you imagine having to tolerate their screams and fidgeting on a long haul flight?
THE HIPPY TEENAGERS
Nobody needs to know the lyrics of your favorite heavy metal tune… So spare a thought for others and turn down the volume a notch. Also, it will be wise to remove your headset while you chat with your buddy, instead of unceremoniously letting us in on your opinions of that hot flight attendant who just served you a drink.
For those who recently become of a legal drinking age, it is natural to experiment with alcohol – especially when it comes without a price tag. Expect them to host their own booze party onboard, courtesy of the bar carts that house a decent selection of liquors and wines. If it is any consolation, they should be sound asleep after the meal service, no thanks to their enthusiastic servings of in-flight tipples.
There is always that one passenger that spends the majority of the flight standing in the back galley with the flight attendants. As a passenger you may never notice this one, but when you’re working on the airplane you certainly get to know “The Yogi” very well. Now, this passenger tends to be older, maybe mid-60s , retired, and wearing a matching jogging suit. “Yogis” make their way back usually an hour or so into the flight so they can stretch what you don’t expect is for them to stay back there for the remainder of the 5 hour flight. This passenger continues attempts to limber up, while simultaneously making conversation.
THE PERFECT ONE
The perfect passenger, is a friendly, chatty ,but not overly, knowledgeable traveler. Every flight attendant enjoy the company of the passengers who are genuinely interested in them and how is working the life as a flight attendant. They appreciate the work they put in to their job and they understand the difficulties. This passenger stays to chat with flight attendants when they come back to use the washroom, but they know when they overstayed their welcome.