For a little clarification on the insider terms of the airline industry, we’ve put together some definitions. If you hear these things being thrown around the airport, let us know!
Concourse, noun: (latin) Con-with course-purpose; buildings designed on their inherent implausibility. Oftentimes modeled after mice mazes, the purpose of the concourse soon became apparent when one could drop off their elderly, dementia-ridden in-laws and never see them again.
Face, noun: term to describe how one airline pilot approaches another airline pilot. Interactions include never actually talking about airline related subject matter to protect the parties respective ego, but instead to refer to the opposite sex as “nice” or “appealing” because men can no longer safely objectify women in the workplace. Common phrase is “I gave face to that United pilot, we talked about a sweet stewardess.”
Flaps, noun: the only technical aircraft related term every man knows between the age of sixteen and seventy-two. Used auspiciously to impress the person they are sitting next to. A common phrase is “hear that? that’s the flaps. Yeah, I’ve flown a lot. The flaps come down for landing and create a low-pressure-air-whirlpool-wooshy-bubble around the landing gear to, you know, protect it. It’s really, very technical.”
Grounder, noun: an individual who works various functions on the ramp of an airport. Curses often, hardly sober, sometimes considered the seamen of the airline industry depending on ethnicity, hair length, assumed sex and shank preference.
Non-Revenue or Non-Rev, noun: an individual who is traveling for nearly free on airline related benefits. Divided into two groups there are the Ghosts and the Army Buddies. Ghost Non-Rev individuals are well dressed, quiet, and sit near the gate with anguished hope in their eyes. Army Buddies talk incessantly to airline workers regardless of their position and try to somehow relate to their work, they rarely if ever succeed and oftentimes are mistaken for perverts trying to hit on the gate agents.
Jet Bridge, noun: the fallopian tube of passenger walkways. The first opportunity to smell the other persons you will be traveling with and adjust your head scarves and perfume ratios accordingly. More prayers are conducted here than churches, synagogues and mosques combined. Typical prayers are “please do not let me sit beside the man with food crusties around his mouth and a trip-XL Texas Longhorn jersey on.”
PAX, plural noun: industry term referring to multiple passengers. Aircraft that often have continuous mechanical issues are referred to as PAX Sacks because of their high likelihood of the aircraft placing each individual on-board into body bags.
Standby, noun: an individual hell-bent on getting to their next layover earlier. Often standing by the gate agent, pouting or smiling with bile, and trying to start a conversation with every other passenger who approaches the gate agent. Comparable to the kid in college who would laminate his notes, the standby somehow thinks they are ‘more informed’ than other travelers because they ‘know’ about the earlier flight and are, therefore, entitled to ride.