Air travel is so stressful. You’ve got to deal with packed crowds, long security lines, and ever-changing flight schedules. Wouldn’t it be nice to just fit in a laugh or two somewhere along the journey?
For better or worse, these pranksters took it upon themselves to pick up friends and family with hilarious signs. Some are pretty cute, while others are devious enough to make exhausted travelers walk right back onto the airplane and fly far away…
1. Who’s flying in from Loompaland? Unfortunately, Oompa Loompa’s don’t actually exist — that we know of — but this guy pulled a hilarious prank on his friend who actually owns a candy factory. We can only assume he boarded his plane with a golden ticket.
2. As the old saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s supposed to mean that kids become a lot like their parents, but the phrase also makes a great visual tool to spot your family amid a busy airport crowd!
3. You probably don’t have to Google “Princess Consuela Banana-Squeegie McBeckenheim III” to figure out it’s not a real royal title. However, you have to give this fella major props for fitting all those names on such a tiny sign.
4. To make the most epic dad joke of all time, why not dress up as the most epic dad of all time? This girl had to endure a photo shoot with her costumed father as soon as she arrived. On the bright side, she made it through this Vader encounter without losing a hand.
5. Two surprises are better than one. Not content to merely show off her “weight loss,” this woman is also debuting the reason behind it: their new baby! If the new dad doesn’t spot the sign right away, he can look for his tiny lookalike.
6. Honesty is important for every relationship. But is this woman being a little bit too honest? More realistically, she’s being thoughtful enough to give her man a laugh as soon as he gets home.
7. Say, these three look a little old to be orphans. Two of them are also smiling, which is somewhat suspicious. Hopefully, some kind adults will pass by and give these poor children the love and care they deserve.
8. It’s not always enough to surprise a family member with a newborn child. You’ve got to do it with style! Based on her spot-on “Call Me Maybe” parody, it seems Harper is also on the fast track to becoming the next Weird Al Yankovic.
9. At first glance, there’s nothing off about this photo. But what it doesn’t tell you is that it was taken in the Seattle Tacoma International Airport! This dad must’ve given a real scare to plenty of strangers walking past them.
10. When your flight gets delayed, you usually have nothing better to do than wait at the airport bar. One lucky passenger’s father gave her a better option by setting up a margarita bar — right outside her gate! Now that’s first class service.
11. When it comes to most welcome messages, it’s really the thought that counts. This little girl’s sign to greet her visiting grandparents may not be exactly legible, but you can tell she put a lot of love into it.
12. Every father wants to be the cool dad. This man is doing his best to earn that title — whether his kids like it or not — by pulling out some gnarly millennial slang at the airport. He also went the extra mile by glamming his sign up with some fancy sequins.
13. If you’re going to prank a family member by suggesting she’s a criminal, you might as well make the prank gigantic. These three made sure everyone in arrivals got a load of their big display. Their mom was probably so embarrassed that she wished she was behind bars.
14. Lots of people have the same first names. That’s why this woman chose to avoid confusion and described who she was looking for at the airport. Maybe she could’ve been more polite about it, but you can bet she found the lady she was looking for!
15. Best friends have weird ways of communicating. For example, they can publicly refer to each other by unusual nicknames and not care what other people think. We’re just glad that this Woody found his Buzz Lightyear. Ride on, cowboy!
16. Even though he’s at the airport to pick up Taylor and Steven, this guy’s not afraid to make himself the center of attention. Or the center of his sign. His pals should feel lucky to be welcomed home with a big smile.
17. In a crowded airport, it can be tricky to find your ride. However, Mokie should have no problem finding his family on this visit. All he has to do is look for his own giant head! Chances are that he’ll make that same face when he sees the sign.
18. No two families are quite alike, and yet all kids seem to get a kick out of tormenting their mothers. These boys came up with a brilliantly simple way to tease her: just take up as much space as possible, and let her reaction do the rest.
19. When this woman went out to visit her cousin, little did she know she’d be greeted with a backward IDIOT sign. Hey, it’s nice to have family members comfortable enough to joke around with one another. And at least the glitter is a nice touch.
20. Some kids just never grow up. This young man went out of his way to remind his parents of that fact. Dressed in footie pajamas and demanding cereal, he’ll make his mom and dad wonder how he ever got to the airport on his own.
Airports are amazing. When you pack tons of travelers into one place, you are bound to bump into some pretty strange individuals. And while you always want to make sure that you don’t hit any delays at the airport, some, like granny delays, may just be unavoidable.
After getting to the airport on time, the second thing you’ve got to make sure of is that you have checked in all your luggage apart from your carry on. But, please, don’t check in your baby.
If you’re traveling with pets, make sure that your companions are properly labeled. Like this gigantic alligator, for example. Suddenly the thought of snakes on a plane doesn’t sound so terrifying.
Once you’ve gone through security, it’s time to relax! Make sure to keep an eye on your luggage so it isn’t stolen. Or just print a picture of yourself on your luggage and it will never be stolen again, like this guy!
The only problem is when your phone dies… it’s important to find a place to charge it fast! And airport outlets can be in high demand, so when you do find an open place to plug in, you might have to keep on guard duty too.
That is unless you need to make room for someone who might… umm… need it more. Apparently, this guy had some important business that really couldn’t wait.
This guy knew what he was doing and brought an extension cord. Always a winning hit at airports. Really though, why don’t all airports have this?
Find a comfortable position, because once the check-in is over, it’s time to wait. We’ve all been here before… maybe not so flexible, but emotionally, we’ve all been here.
And hey, in the rare instance you find yourself in a totally empty terminal you can go ahead a stretch out. This way you can almost pretend you’re not about to get on a miserable 10-hour flight.
Then again, most of the time you would just be lucky to find an empty seat at all. So when all else fails, buy soft luggage and find the optimal floor spot. You might think you’re above sitting on the floor, but just wait ’til the second leg of your flight…
Once the aircraft and crew are ready, you can finally board. What’s this though? Are these people hard at work or are they hardly working… ?!
At least once boarding is done you can just get settled and chill out. Window seat or aisle?
Once you’re settled in all you have to think about is take-off and the landing. Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently not for everybody…
Sometimes you have uninvited guests strut your runway, and you have to politely tell them to move along.
There are those who struggle with landing as well… Park anywhere, you said?
But hey, a casual in-flight celebrity sighting makes every journey better!
No matter how many celebrities you bump into though, air travel can be pretty exhausting for bigger and smaller travelers alike.
… and it doesn’t look like airport food is getting any better.
Apparently, neither are the advertising campaigns, or rather their placement.
It looks like for all the security updates, we still have a long way to go.