the nazi stewardess
you've seen her in Meet the Parents. well she's back. this time she moves an entire group of 50 people over 8" to ensure they are boarding on the 'general boarding' side of the sign. the time and effort she puts into getting an already confused mass of grumpy people to move over a few inches to make sure that the VIP boarding line is open to the ZERO people in that lane is astounding and to be honest, quite wasteful. you can be assured this will be the same stewardess to reject your request for an additional mini bag of peanuts or a full can of coke. not to be confused with...
this is the stewardess who stands at the door of the aircraft and feels that the standard 'hi, welcome aboard' greeting is simply not enough. she asks to see your boarding pass and in a hushed voice kindly lets you know that 'ah yes, you are in 32F... that is going to be just a hair past row 31, but if you hit row 33, you've gone too far." um, thanks.
the sidler (aka eager beaver)
it has long been believed that being one of the first to board the aircraft is a luxury. everyone knows this and some pay good money to be the first in line. then there are the cheapskates; the ones who feel it is imperative that they board before everyone else, and have thusly devised a strategy for getting themselves in place to do just that. in most cases this is a couple, but it is not uncommon to see single traveler attempts as well. they casually walk up to the forming line and instead of getting in a straight line (like they teach you to do in kindergarten), they post themselves right next to you. as the line begins to move forward you notice his rolling duffel creeping into your personal space and before you know it, is now taking up the space directly in front of you. he deftly follows the bag, momentarily breaking his monotonous conversation with his companion to drop something resembling a quick apology to you for bumping you and stepping on your toes as if this is a perfectly natural way of forming a line. his wife follows suite and as you watch them hand their tickets to the gate agent, suddenly you are hit with the realization that you have been sidled.
the 'the smart car is smaller than my carry-on' guy
10 minutes of shoving, squishing, repositioning, grunting and sweating WILL indeed get your single ginormous bag successfully into the entire space meant for 6 carry-ons. meanwhile the entire rest of the list of passengers behind you are forced to wait for you to get out of the way and are now tasked with frantically seeking out open space in other overhead compartments nowhere near their assigned seat. Your bag, my good sir, is luggage. LUGGAGE! Pay the $15 and CHECK IT!
he's on his phone in line, he's on his phone down the jetway, and yes, he's on his phone trying to shove his bag in the overhead. and no, he's not talking on his actual phone, he is using his bluetooth. inside voice is a foreign concept to your neighbor, and as he sits down you find yourself lucky enough to hear all about the "acquisition" and all the details thereof. you breathe a silent 'thank YOU' when he tells his phone friend that he is on the plane and about to take off so he has to go. this of course, takes another 5 minutes of pleasantries, as he explains where he is headed, how long it will take him to get there and of course he'll call when he lands. sidelong glances over the course of the flight prove that he does not take off the bluetooth, but keeps it on his ear as if in anticipation of an in-flight call. you can rest assured that the moment the plane touches ground, he is back on the phone, checking messages, letting everyone in his contact list know that he has just landed and his plans for the remainder of the day.
'to go' guy
somehow you got screwed with the middle seat on an overbooked flight, and even though the aisle seat next to you is still vacant mere seconds before they are ready to close the doors; reason and experience have taught you that you are never that lucky.
you see a large person emerge from the doorway and before you can fully process what is taking place, you see the overhelper has just pointed him in your direction. he plops down next to you and begins unwrapping his to-go order. this is not your typical to-go meal, but rather something akin to 'the works hotdog' complete with onions, jalepenos, chili, and relish. The smell worsens and sickens the more he unwraps and you begin mentally counting down the nanoseconds until you can get off this thing, your eyes scanning the seat pocket in front of you for something, anything, that resembles a recepticle for holding what you can feel rising into your throat. and as you fumble to turn the air nozzle above you on full force, you can pretty much assume by the large gut nearly touching the tray (in it's locked and fully upright position) and the heavy breathing from his long jaunt down the jetway that this is a man not above "letting one slip." just wait for it, you'll know when it's happened. trust me.
God bless america.