Having spent a fair few nights in an airport with my backpack, I've come to recognise the common characters one can witness. Here are my top 20:
1. Stressed mums shouting at their husband and children. Common rants and nags include: "Geoff, I gave you the passports!" As soon as boarding is announced, they rush to be first in the queue, as if the plane will leave without them otherwise.
2. Lazy dads who look like they would rather be at home watching the football. Under strict orders by their wives to push the luggage trolley, they are probably looking for the nearest emergency exit.
3. Anxious children who worry about every tiny detail to their parents...unsubtly. Take that process of moving forward by a foot every two minutes in the queue for check-in. A little voice from behind you whines: "Mummy, when the people start moving forward, this girl doesn't move."
4. The screaming toddler throwing a tantrum inside the toilets. Mum can't make her child understand that it's harder to 'go' when on a crowded plane for 10 hours. Other passengers plead it won't cry for 10 hours.
5. Confused elderly people getting lost around the airport. Their speech normally consists of: "I can't find my glasses." / "Where did I put the jam sandwiches?" / "Oh it's a long walk, isn't it? Do you think the man on that buggy will take us?"
6. Foreign travellers at check-in with a language barrier. Sometimes you'll find them failing to be understood by or understand airport staff, when it's explained that their luggage exceeds the weight limit/they will need a visa etc. Likely to become the subject of complaint amongst stressed mums.
7. Pretentious women who think an airport is a fashion show. Sunglasses and signature at the ready, they strut around arrogantly in high heels, fur coats and their skinniest pair of jeans with flashy handbags slung over their arm as they wait to be 'discovered' like Kate Moss. Most likely to be found in the perfume section.
8. Precocious young teenage girls aspiring to be the pretentious women. Reluctant to be seen with their 'embarrassing' family, they saunter around in Ugg boots with garish, almost-empty handbags slung over their arm as they wait to be discovered by One Direction. Also most likely to be found in the perfume section.
9. The 'LADS'. Wearing wifebeaters and snapbacks, they are probably heading to Kavos. They exchange loud 'banter' about Lee's hand luggage being searched and his huge stack of condoms exposed. Getting drunk on the plane is a key aim.
10. The posh 'LADS'. Wearing suede shoes and Ralph Lauren, they are probably heading to Croatiahhh. Often found 'har har'-ing at videos on their iPad, or in Duty Free putting it on father's credit card.
11. Scruffy backpackers lying down asleep across two seats somewhere. Often the recipients of revolted looks, children are warned to stay clear of them in case they catch something.
12. The 'hen-do' ladies in matching t-shirts. As they cackle away about their ditsy mistakes at security, you silently plead that they won't be on your flight.
13. The 17 year old 'girly-holiday' gang gathered in Boots. As they gossip loudly about so-and-so's bikini diet and compare their fake tan choices, you also hope they won't be on your flight.
14. The disgusted-looking businessman. In a suit sipping his Starbucks coffee with laptop in front, he is too important for these lower-class vermin and can't wait to get into First Class.
15. The couple going on their first holiday together. Clinging onto her boyfriend, the girlfriend chatters away about how excited she is, and gives repeated run-throughs of the itinerary she has planned for them. Meanwhile, the boyfriend is constantly glancing at the seductive ladies in the perfume adverts.
16. People clustered in WHSmith taking forever to make purchase choices. Besides the holiday reading issue, the key decision-muddler is which typical British gift to bring their holiday hosts - Quality Streets or Roses.
17. Shop assistants on the night shift looking depressed. They thought a job in Gucci at a leading airport would be super glamourous - how wrong they were.
18. iPhone addicts. They are probably tagging their exact location within the airport on social media, with a complementary selfie thrown in.
19. The catwalk of the female cabin crew. Working it with fixed smiles, pencil skirts and slick buns as they drag along their suitcase, this is their warm-up for that long awaited moment of fame: the flight safety demonstration.
20. The loners (aka me). With nobody to talk to, they might be seen recounting in their journal how they 'found themselves' in Terminal 1 or, out of boredom, compiling lists like this one.
For more travel-related observations, head to soleseeking.comSuggest a correction