1. IT部门先生 他是这样一名乘客：一待安全带信号灯熄灭，他就放下小桌板，摆出全副家当。一台笔记本电脑，一台与其相连的平板电脑，一部、甚至两部与笔记本电脑和平板电脑相连的手机，然后一副无线耳机戴在头上，蓝光闪烁。现在，他以平静的使命感着手工作：单击一下这里，摆弄一下手机那里。他在用这些计算容量做什么？他在监视地面情况吗？随时准备着如果美国五角大楼(Pentagon)或英国政府通信总部(GCHQ)崩溃，他就在35000英尺的高空出手干预吗？
2. 迫在眉睫小姐 这名乘客在升空的那一刻也拿出她的笔记本电脑，并打开翻盖。这是她最后一次抬头。整个航程中，她都在敲打键盘。电子表格、柱状图、大量文字出现在屏幕上，她一下把它们点没，一下又重新打开它们修改。
3. 守夜人 舷窗外一片黑暗，遮光板拉下，客舱灯光熄灭，大部分乘客昏昏睡去。他们对外界毫无知觉，四仰八叉瘫在座椅上，毛毯在安全带下，戴着眼罩。有的人大张着嘴，一些人在打呼噜。
4. 神奇膀胱 这些旅行者在靠窗座位坐定，转过脸去，缩成一团入睡，他们保持这个姿势，直到飞机将要降落。但他们全程酣眠还不是最了不起的事情。不：最了不起的是他们在八小时航程中一次都没起身去厕所。他们的确是大自然的奇迹。
原文：Frequent flyer: meet the mini-tribes of air travel
Most people you fly with are unmemorable. They sit down, strap in and get on with whatever it is they do to pass the hours in the air. Unless they become overly drunk or aggressive — which I have read about but never seen — there is no reason to think of them again. I’m sure they feel the same about me.
But as you fly, you begin to notice common quirks and behaviour that some passengers engage in. These groups make up flying’s mini-tribes. Here are some I have noticed.
1. Mr IT Department This is the passenger who, the instant the seatbelt sign pings off, pulls down his table and sets out his stall. A laptop, a tablet to plug into the laptop, a phone, or even two, to plug into those, and then a set of wireless headphones clamped on his ears, the blue light flashing. He now goes about his task with calm purposefulness: a click here, a shift of handset there. What is he doing with all this computing power? Is he monitoring the situation below, ready to step in from 35,000ft if the Pentagon or GCHQ go down?
2. Ms Wolf-at-the-Door This passenger also takes out her laptop and flips open the lid the moment we are airborne. That is the last time she raises her head. She hammers away at her keyboard throughout the entire flight. Spreadsheets, bar charts and wodges of text appear, are clicked away, are returned to and revised.
What on earth is going on? This is not a PowerPoint presentation she is preparing. It is too frenetic for that. Something momentous clearly awaits her on landing. Administration or Chapter 11 is imminent; possibly a hostile bid that needs repulsing.
All offers of food are waved away. The only refreshment she accepts is a stiff drink, from which, pausing momentarily from her critical task, she takes a sharp, urgent sip.
3. The Night Watch When it’s black outside, the blinds are down and the cabin lights are off, most of the passengers lie comatose. Sprawled across seats, blankets under seat belts, eye masks across faces, they are oblivious to the world. Some have their mouths laxly open, a few are snoring.
But a handful of passengers are awake: watching movies, reading in a needle of light or stalking the aisles and enjoying the odd stretch. There is an unspoken recognition among them: they are the ones who cannot sleep, and who do not understand all those who find it so easy.
Every few hours, kind cabin crew members appear among the Night Watch, wordlessly proffering trays with plastic glasses of water or orange juice. Of all flying’s mini-tribes, I know this one best, as I am one of its longest-standing (or reading, or film-watching) members.
4. Wonder Bladder These are the travellers who settle into a window seat, turn their faces away, curl up and go to sleep, which is how they stay until it is time to land. But their flight-long sleeping is not the most remarkable thing about them. No: it is the fact that not once, on an eight-hour flight, do they ever get up to go to the toilet. They truly are marvels of nature.
When the crew wake them up with an order to return their seats to the upright position as we prepare for landing, they look a little disheveled and grumbly. They are all young, of course, but they really shouldn’t be so cross. They will discover, as the decades pass, that they will be wandering down the aisle to join the toilet queue more often than they can currently imagine.