People Watching in Airports

While waiting to board a flight, I never read or listen to music. I people-watch. I get nervous about becoming engrossed in my distraction and missing my flight – it happened to a friend of mine, so don’t laugh! Besides, it’s fun.

Flying has become more commonplace at the same rate as it’s become more terrifying. People-watching in an airport is akin to watching a bride in her final private moments before walking down the aisle – there is a heightened intensity of competing emotions in travelers, and it brings out all of their nervous habits and ugliest obesessions.

My favorite people to watch are ignorant rich people. I love how they’re incensed about being among the riff-raff, and privately ashamed that they’re not rich enough to have their own plane, or at least to have Richard Branson on speed dial.
They make up for this, though, with ostentatiously expensive carry-on bags, preciously luxurious wrapthings lest they catch a chill, and pretentiously foreign magazines and peach-flavored financial publications used like treasured baby blankets.

The travelers closest to my heart are those my parents’ age and older. They’re retired, and they are traveling like mad. At first glance, they look like amateurs, typical American travelers – sturdy travel sneakers, matching luggage, sensible travelwear. You feel bad for them, or perhaps you write them off and glance elsewhere. But you get to talking to these people -and man, do they love to talk – and you learn that they’ve been EVERYWHERE. Places you can only DREAM of going. Sure, they go with a tour, and they ask you about a place as if they discovered it themselves – but these seniors have been around the world, and they’re SO EXCITED about it. They have my respectful envy.

The one type of traveler that confuses me to the point of obsession are people who travel with REALLY young children. Why? Why do you put yourselves through that? Why do you put the rest of us through it, as well?

I completely understand the need to go on vacation. I can guess that after a year or so of dirty diapers and sleepless nights, this need would become overwhelming. But for the love of all that is sacred, can’t you find SOMEONE to take those kids off your hands for a week? Do you really have to drag them, literally kicking and screaming, through airports and down Europe’s biggest boulevards?

They look like they realized this was a bad idea from the second they got in the minivan – but they can’t back out now. You just know they are going to spend a FORTUNE on their trip, and come back exhausted. This is not a vacation; this is torture. I’d feel bad for them, but I’m too busy blocking out their children’s screams.

Business travelers – I’m sorry, but as a whole, you annoy me. NO ONE CARES to hear about your busy life conducted by cell phone. No one. Sure, there are those business travelers that are quiet and unassuming, just trying to get from one place to another. But most of us are traveling to get AWAY from work, not to bring it with us. Listening to you schedule meetings and delegate to someone invariably named Carol only serves to remind us of our overflowing inboxes that await our return.

Backpackers are another annoyance. Hey – I know you’re seeing the world on a shoestring budget, and that’s admirable. You’re gaining experience and making memories that will last a lifetime. But airport lounges are not bedrooms, and water fountains are not mini-showers. What you see as resourcefulness learned in a bus depot in Prague looks to actual grown-ups like you’re being cheap with Daddy’s money so that you can have more money for beer in your next city. Plenty of broke people manage to look and act respectful – I’m one of them.

And stop city-dropping. You’re not impressing anyone with your tale of sleeping on a beach in Phuket. You’re trying really hard to sound jaded about smoking pot in Amsterdam, but you should just go ahead and be excited about it, because you sound like an amateur anyway.

I honestly started this post wanting to write a few observations, and now I’m ranting. So, Miss Expatria will stop now. But I want to hear from you, gentle reader – who do you love, or hate, spying on while traveling?

If you’re looking for cheap airline tickets to your favorite destinations, check out Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines.  Or, for you New Yorkers who are thinking of heading home for the holidays, keep up to date on Midwest Airlines travel deals!

6 thoughts on “People Watching in Airports

  1. Hilarious! I love this entry. My favorite was Phoenix to Pittsburgh. LOL.

    Guess what? I’ve been told I have a serious vitamin D deficiency (the one you get from the sun). So what have I been doing ever since? Trying to figure out how to get somewhere sunny – for not much money! How nice would it be to lie in the sun for 3 days. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  2. My children were frequent flyers at a very young age. They got quite good at it, and with proper strategy and planning on my part, we had no kicking or screaming. They watched adults kicking and screaming on a few occasions, but then got back to the business of waiting in whatever form that took at the time.

    As far as people watching goes, there are more hotter women at airports than anywhere else; just an observation.

  3. My children were frequent flyers at a very young age. They got quite good at it, and with proper strategy and planning on my part, we had no kicking or screaming. They watched adults kicking and screaming on a few occasions, but then got back to the business of waiting in whatever form that took at the time.

    As far as people watching goes, there are more hotter women at airports than anywhere else; just an observation.

  4. Pingback: Financial-Publications » Blog Archives » Altegris Investments, Inc. Launches ManagedFutures.com: Updated Research and Marketing Website for Managed Futures ... (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s