Six People You Will Encounter on Your Next Flight

1. The Super-Saver

This is a man who truly knows how to beat the system. Not only does he already have three bottles of Evian water at the ready to satiate his immeasurable thirst on this forty-minute flight and avoid succumbing to the temptations of in-flight service, but he has also managed to compact every one of his necessary belongings into a single suitcase. The problem however, is that this suitcase is roughly sixteen times the size of the available space beneath the seat in front of him. But never fear, for this will not stop our enterprising frugalist. “No!” He shouts to the increasingly agitated flight attendant as he repeatedly kicks and berates his bag for not accepting its new home in spite of physics, “I don’t need to check it! It’s my carry on!”

2. The TSA Line Enforcer

Here in the USA, we have to make sure the terrorists don’t win. That means making sure everyone who wants to get on an airplane has to walk around barefoot in public for a while and have their junk fondled to check for suspected terrorist activity. All this rubber-gloving and grab-ass can cause a fairly chaotic scene in which a multitude of passengers attempt to remove the necessary clothing and present their belongings as sacrifice to the TSA god in the required ceremonial fashion. Thankfully, every line will inevitably have a citizen who steps up to bring order to this chaos and enforce the almighty rule of the line. Should you step to the side for a moment to remove your shoes or belt, this true American hero will forcibly shove all your trays onto the floor upon your return, muttering the credo of their noble kind: “Well, you cut, so…” and justice will have been served.

3. The Consummate Professional

Thank you for choosing our airline, and welcome to this one guy’s office. Yes, that’s right. You are now guests in his workplace; please act accordingly. Loud noises which may interrupt his focus on these many Powerpoint presentations containing hundreds of charts and graphs will not be tolerated. In-flight wifi will be available, but unusable by anyone else, as our professional friend will be using every last drop of bandwidth for important business purpos- oh, no wait he’s just playing Angry Birds Star Wars. Oh god, and he’s terrible at it.

4. The Amateur Pilot

“I’ve seen somewhere between three and ten films about flying, so I think I know what’s going on he- OH GOD WHY IS THE WING DOING THAT WHAT ARE THOSE FUCK FUCK FUCK”

5. The Parents

“Hold on, hold on. Wait. WAIT. I need to read this. It says something about a zone. Should we ask someone? Yeah, I think we should ask someone. Turn around, let’s get off the plane and ask that nice lady at the gate.”

Always keen observers and burdened by an unmatched attention to detail, especially the kind that don’t matter at all, these passengers can always be counted on to be the most well-organized, yet completely lost and unprepared for everything. They will have a carry-on with compartments containing each specific type of medication anyone could possibly need for the next ten hours, but they’ll need extra time looking over the menu to decide which of the three shitty snack platters to buy, as they are surprised there isn’t a food court on this plane.

6. The Archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand

This dude refuses to travel by car anywhere these days. Although, who can blame him after his last drive turned out? While he may occasionally bother others who value their quiet privacy with his lengthy tales of Austrian might and incessant pressing of the call button to request a check for grenades under his seat, he is often a welcome neighbor. Since his death nearly 100 years ago, his non-corporeal form has made it easy to avoid awkward knee contact and ensures the armrest is always available.