You know the feeling. You check in online, drop your bag and head towards the security checkpoint at a leisurely pace, passport and smartphone boarding pass in hand. You have so much time to kill, you consider grabbing a coffee on your way but then change your mind after considering the pitfalls of having to down the whole cup when you start to queue.
You’re happy with your decision (albeit less caffeinated), and then you see it. A massive barely moving hoard of people that resembles an extra casting call for “The Walking Dead”. All you can do to pass the time without draining your phone battery is people watch, but let’s be honest, it’s more entertaining than anything your Facebook friends have to offer.
Next time you find yourself lining up for your much awaited flight, keep an eye out for these 9 people you always see in the queue for airport security.
1. The person bound for a stag or hen do
You hear them before you see them. They’re the ones you give the side eye to, but secretly envy as they head to Prague for the weekend they’ll never remember. They are usually spotted with a can of Carlsberg glued to their hand wearing matching tops and embarrassing hats. Straight after security check they usually head off to Wetherspoons for more Sambucca shots and that’s usually the last you’ll see of them (you’ll hear them on the plane, that’s guaranteed).
2. The person who refuses to admit their hand baggage is WAY too big
They swear it’s regulation and they’ve taken it aboard planes before, but you’re convinced this is an old wives’ tale they’ve rehearsed in front of a mirror as they lug it through the winding queue, nearly taking out every pole they weave past. They can also be seen struggling to cram their bag into one of the hand baggage size receptacles, hoisting it onto the conveyor belt using all of their leg strength, or later, arms flailing as they argue over the need to gate check.
3. The person who forgot to separate their liquids and gels
We understand last-minute packing – who hasn’t been there? And it can be easy to forget you have eye drops or a tube of lip gloss in your pocket, but did they really think that a jug-sized Marmite was going to make it through? No one wants to be in the queue behind the person downing the 2-litres of Buxton spring water by the bins – and no one wants to be in the aisle seat of a row with that same person later.
4. The person wearing way too many layers
We understand paying extra for luggage is a bit annoying, but going to extreme measures of wearing five or more layers, looks just, well, stupid, and these people unwilling to cough up the cash unpack their bags and start to put all their clothes on just to save some pennies. And to the annoyance of us queuing behind them, they don’t usually stop until they have about 8 layers of clothing on them and they look like a yeti. We wish them good luck this coming summer season.
5. The person who doesn’t have to take their shoes off
We all put our shoes on one foot at a time, and we all take them off the same way. Unless you’re over 75 or randomly selected, in which case you’ve earned that elusive right to mosey through security without dirtying up your socks. But, everyone’s seen the person who’s let the power go to their heads, turning their noses up at all those folks begrudgingly unlacing. Remember, you were there once, too.
6. The person who insists on using five plastic trays
Save some for the rest of us. We get that you need your laptop and it’s required that you give it its own plastic tray, and maybe you don’t want your shoes touching your hat, but are your sunglasses too cool to share a tray with your jumper and your plastic bag of liquids? Like Lynx body spray on a long-haul flight, when it comes to plastic trays, use in moderation.
7. The person too hungover to follow directions
These are easily recognisable, they smell of whisky and they avoid everyone and everything, hence they’re not paying any attention. They can only handle one task at a time, and right now their only mission is to propel themselves forward in a timely fashion. Soon they’ll be able to doze off (or continue drinking) in the relative comfort of their economy seat but until then, they still have a job to do- just to get through that security check as swiftly as possible.
8. The person bound for a Spanish beach holiday
Everyone has seen these super-eager Spanish Costa travellers – these chipper beach-bound early morning flyers are usually at the airport two hours early and checked in with time to spare as they skip to security with passport, boarding pass and carefully separated baggy of liquids and gels in hand all ready for their two weeks all-inclusive holiday of a lifetime.
9. The person wrangling a small herd of children
This multi-tasker can be seen juggling three handbags, a few nappies and a newborn baby, while simultaneously keeping three kids wearing Mickey’s ears and arguing over who gets the window seat in check. You’re getting tired just trying to avoid tripping over the little one who is playing in-between queue bareers. Your best bet is to avoid eye contact and prepare for an interesting flight to Orlando.