Strangest Things: Eleven of the most peculiar airport behaviours

Hello… are you there? Answer your walkie-talkie!

Today, we will be talking about a subject not yet addressed on this blog. We’re not sure if we can really discuss it, it’s a taboo topic; when pressed people often go mute over the matter. We probably shouldn’t say anything as Hawkins Lab may have surveillance on our website… but lean in close and we’ll whisper it.

Our previous entries have been informative pieces trying to teach our readers about daily routines and rules for travel. This week we wanted to try something different. Something unusual. As unusual as an Eggo-loving telekinetic child, Johnathon and Nancy’s romance or, washing your feet in an airport-restroom sink. Yes, that’s right readers, we are delving into the dark, mysterious and often confusing world of airport behaviours (you can lean back now, the whispering is over).

Most of what we see is harmless, and often brings a smile to our faces. Some of the behaviours we witness are terrifying and we wish we could wash ourselves clean afterwards (obviously, not in a sink though). Get ready to have your world turned Upside Down; here are 11 of the most annoying, funniest, and strangest things we see in the airport on a regular basis. Without further ado, let’s step into the Dragon’s Lair.

[Warning- spoilers ahead]

1. Keep the decibels down

Airport arrivals. Heart-warming. Endearing. Rude. Most interactions are pleasant and the reunion of family or friends is a moment we look upon with a smile, but there are certain encounters that deserve Eleven’s infamous glare. Screaming in the airport is the number one no-no on our list. A returning loved one deserves a hello, a hug and help with their case; nobody needs a scream loud enough to shatter the windows in Hopper’s cabin- it just causes a fuss.

2. Outfit oddities

a) We aren’t the fashion police, and we may not have a leg to stand on given our pink polos, but some of the outfits that pass us require a double-take. Onesies are an odd choice that appear constantly. We understand the urge to dress comfy on a long-haul flight or in the early hours of the morning but we advise you to keep the Minion onesie for nap time, and save the Superman onesie for a hangover Sunday. You look as ridiculous as the gang turning up to school in Ghostbusters uniforms- and really, nobody wants to be a Winston.

b) On the other hand, we often see the opposite end of the spectrum, with people strutting through the airport in Stiletto heels and a full face of makeup- by all means, flaunt your stuff, but when you enter the terminal dressed up like Dustin for the Snowball Dance, expect a few looks. Our advice- maybe save the Farrah Fawcett hairspray for when it’s party time.

3. Tread carefully, not slowly

Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, are all large airports with a series of walkways, paths and lifts that can cause confusion and disorientation at the best of times. We appreciate the need to venture with caution to avoid finding yourself lost, however, if you are lost- ask. If you are confused- look. If you are on a travellator- walk! We are not navigating the tunnels of the Upside-Down here; there isn’t a threat around each corner, only a wrong turn leading to another terminal. The biggest pet peeve of any person is a slow walker, and the airport is infested with them. Get moving like a Dema-Dog is chasing and we’ll all be happy.

4. The fight for power

In the age of technology, the power struggle is quite literal, and battery life takes precedent over social protocol. Our Angels have witnessed arguments, scuffles and sneaky charger removals at the power outlets in Heathrow. These aren’t a crime but we find it odd that travellers have a complete disregard for the rules of first come, first serve. Be careful around the power points, it can get feisty and you may leave with a bloody nose.

5. Beers before breakfast

Everybody knows the holiday buzz you feel at the airport.  The excitement to sunbathe on Barceloneta beach; drink sangria on the sand and the thought of 30-degree heat will make you tingly, but when you’re at Gatwick Airport in a Wetherspoons with a pint of Estrella and a shot of Jose Cuervo, at 4.58am… you may be starting too early. We’re not exactly sure who wrote the official rules for the ‘Airport Drinking Game’ but apparently, they forgot to establish time limits. It brings a smile to our face to see so many travellers enjoying their holiday before they’ve even left the country though, so we let this one slide; just try not to pull a Nancy Wheeler and spill your drink all over yourself.

6. No shoes, no shirt…

The home. The pool. The clinic. Three acceptable places to show your bare feet. The airport, on the other hand, is not one of those places. Sitting in a busy terminal with your piggy’s a-wiggling is not acceptable, and frankly, it’s just odd. Rock on with your socks on, people. And while we’re here telling you to cover little pink nubs- shirts should always be worn. Billy Hargrove is infamous for inappropriate smoking and showing his nips to the world, and this is fine for a sci-fi antagonist but for a tourist, it’s not advisable. Much like the Mind Flayer, the airport likes it cold, so there is rarely an excuse for having your top off. We know you’re going to Magaluf mate, strip off once you’re there, not in Costa Coffee.

7. No service- walkie-talkie woes

In our previous blogs, we have mentioned the importance of phones, and while they are vital as a means of contact, we cannot condone inappropriate use of this tool. Each day we see, or rather hear, a passer-by using their walkie-talkie obnoxiously loud; “Can you hear me now? How about now?” Yes, we can! If you don’t have service, step outside, don’t shout. And while we’re at it, headphones were created for a reason so, unless you’re a part of a flash mob or a choir, plug them in and enjoy your own music. We don’t all need to hear ‘should I stay or should I go now’ because we will ‘go now’.

8. Restroom randomness

Unlike Kali Prasad, better known as Eight, we can’t make up the things we see, although at times we wish some actions were a mirage. Any trip to an airport restroom is an adventure you must prepare for. It can only be likened to the Upside-Down: disgusting, sticky, and you pray to god nothing spurts out at you. You know it’s a place you shouldn’t be, yet you venture in anyway. Expect startling noises, pungent smells and almost definitely, someone washing themselves in a sink.

9. Pooches meeting people

It’s bizarre seeing dogs greeting humans, but animals seem to be regular visitors in the arrivals area, and if you’ve ever watched a ‘soldier returns home’ video you’ll know the excitement of a dog when they first see their owner. It’s the best! The furry friends are welcome visitors that Angels hope to see every shift. So far, we’ve only heard stories of dogs being in the airport; Labrador’s are great, and if they’re wearing a doggy jumper, even better. Just please be suspicious of anything in a makeshift cage or with the name D’Artagnan.

10. Crazy carry-on contraband

In their time with us, our Angels have seen many strange packing decisions and various contraband items travellers have tried to sneak through customs: hotel towels, the entire Harry Potter anthology and absinthe. The excess or banned objects are usually revealed when we need to remove weight from a bag. Luckily, our team is yet to deal with a weapon fiasco, so if you’re planning on hiding a Steve Harrington bat in your bag, give it a second thought…

11. Zombie Boy

It’s nearly time to say “night-night” for this week’s post, but not before we discuss the topic of sleeping in airports. Early mornings and late nights are a struggle for anyone and we understand the need to sleep. Naps are necessary and we won’t tell you to avoid them; you don’t want to walk around like a zombie. However, we take a questionable stance regarding the locations people choose to sleep in. Sprawled across several chairs; spread out across a coffee shop table; star-fishing on the floor. You look uncomfortable and we wish we could help. Everyone needs their own Mike to build them a pillow fort… find yours before your next public nap.

That’s it friends! It was a totally tubular wave and we hope you enjoyed the ride, but unfortunately, it’s time to close the gate on this week’s Airport Angels blog.  That’s our list for the eleven peculiar airport behaviours that we’ve noticed at work. Let us know what weird habits you see in the airport and if there’s anything we missed. How people act in the airport is unlike anywhere else in the world and our Angels find fascinating stories from every shift; we’re so happy we can share our stories with you… we hope Hawkins Lab haven’t caught onto our secret though!

Thanks for reading- until next week. Airport Angels, over and out.