Getting from one end of the country or the world to the other for both business and pleasure has been revolutionised and those who take to the skies are now also asily grouped. Shaun Pozyn, head of marketing at kulula.com, takes a light-hearted look at some of the tribes we find, and what we can learn from them.
The leisurely:These are often retired or empty-nesters travelling to see children and grandchildren, often to redeem rewards points. You’ll see them exuding Zen-like calm in lounges or browsing airport shops. They have the luxury of travelling in the off-peak hours rather than the early mornings and late afternoons when business travellers fill up domestic flights.
What we can learn:Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through security. Although mornings and afternoons are busiest in domestic terminals, you’ll enjoy your journey more if you’re able to get airside and spend some time unwinding before boarding.
The unusually proportioned:You needn’t be as tall as Boban Marjanović – at 2.22m, the NBA’s tallest player this season – to feel that you’d like a little extra legroom. This tribe often endures I’m-glad-I’m-not-him stares from fellow passengers, who may also dread sitting next to more generously proportioned fellow passengers.
What we can learn:Know the trade-offs. If you’re tall, you’ll covet an exit-row seat for its legroom, but the inflight entertainment screens in those seats are usually smaller. So if you’re of average height or short, on a long-haul flight and enjoy your movies, select a seat away from an exit-row.
The rebel:You’ll come across these folk in all walks of life, but on aircraft they’re the ones who regard noncompliance with announcements as a symbol of individuality. They’ll remove their headphones and switch off their devices only when told to in person by cabin-crew, and with direct eye-contact. “Oh, you mean ME? Are you sure?” They bank on the fact that other passengers are reluctant to Cause A Scene and, while the aircraft taxis and takes off, will furtively perform vitally important online tasks like adding puppy noses to their Snapchat selfies.
What we can learn:There are always people who use cutlery to extract toast from a toaster, but airline safety instructions are in place for a reason. Just follow them.