Seven types of traveller – part 2 – and then there were 11 !

I wrote last week about 7 types of traveller I witnessed on a recent flight with British Airways. Readers identified four more!

Scatterbrain who rarely flies is a passenger for whom travel is a new experience. Presenting with a combination of awe and a lack of understanding makes this passenger stand out. When asked ‘Would you like a drink?’ they reply with ‘What do you have?’.  This forces the flight attendant to run through the list in the menu, or in the inflight magazine.

Hypochondriac. More frequently seen in Japan and China in my experience, this passenger wears a face mask during their time in the terminal or on the plane, making everyone else feel like Typhoid Mary. There is a variant who pops endless Herbal Remedies from a large plastic bag during their flight – most typically seen in the USA.

Luggage space hog comes in two variants. The first has one of the largest bags that will fit through the x-ray machine, slips it past the gate agent and then insists that it must be above his seat – even if he has to re-arrange every other passengers bag. I encountered this sub-set on a recent Finnair flight where the passenger could not understand why I was upset as he dumped my backpack in to another bin so his bag could be directly above his head.

The second variant has two permitted carry-on with them, but just had to shop in the terminal and so has a half dozen extra little bags covered in brand names and logos which hardly take up any space, come on be reasonable!

Single no kids.  A small confession here – this is really me. A single traveller who has not kids and so is perhaps less tolerant of the uncontrollable child and the absent parent mentioned in the last post. I don’t have a blanket view that kids should be excluded from First/Business Class – that would be unreasonable. I do have a view that badly behaved children should be! I have taken dozens of flights where children of multiple ages have been in premium classes. Typically well behaved, they are a delight.

So, we now have 11 traveller types – are there any more I wonder?



  1. I’m not sure the term “hypochondriac” is fair on everyone wearing a face mask. When I was living in Japan, whenever I enquired about it I was told that they were wearing a face mask because they had a cold or felt unwell and didn’t want to spread their germs with people they got in contact with.


  2. Fully agree with MDS. It’s a well-known fact that the purpose of wearing a face mask when unwell in Japan and China is consideration for others to not pick-up the same bug. Sadly, this level of consideration is sometimes totally absent in Western culture, with people often sneezing, coughing and spreading germs in public spaces.

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