The TikTok-Famous 'Anti-Airport Dad' Is to Be Celebrated and Feared

Just like being an airport dad, being an anti-airport dad is a lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of TikTok
Photo courtesy of TikTok

You've heard about the "Airport Dad." And in case you haven't yet, let me introduce you to the concept real quick. Rather than an actual figure, being an airport dad is a lifestyle, a philosophy if you will. You're the trip sitter (as in, the travel trip sitter), you're an "Early at the Airport Girlie," and you keep all of your travel buddies in check. Documents, tickets, and passes are all neatly organized in a folder, and you've printed out the itinerary multiple times. You got this, and you're a guiding beacon of light for the entire party, who relies on you almost religiously.

But every hero has its own villain. Or in this case, its actual antihero. Let me introduce you to a newly discovered figure—the "Anti-Airport Dad." This trend has recently started growing on TikTok as a response to the thousands of videos showcasing their hyper-organized dads. The claim is simple: not every dad is, in fact, on top of it when it comes to traveling. Some of them are just chaos, hence the anti-airport dad. This is a genderless lifestyle rather than a fatherly figure necessarily, and for every airport dad setting up a travel group to win the race, there's an anti-airport dad slowing everybody down.

An anti-airport dad can be easily recognized by the use of one specific catchphrase: "I've got plenty of time." Regardless of what the clock might say, these individuals are never late, and will always wait until the very last minute to complete simple tasks before departing for a trip. But don't get it twisted: they are definitely not nervous about the ticking clock, and embrace travel with a truly laid-back and stress-free attitude.In one viral TikTok, an authentic anti-airport dad is shown casually strolling inside the house without a single worry on his face. "Unlike [an] airport dad, I've got [an] anti-airport dad," reads the overtext. "It's 9:45, getting picked up at 10 for [an] 11:30 flight, has not packed, on a work call, and strolling around the house doing nothing. Says he has 'plenty of time.'"

By looking at the evidence, anti-airport dads aren't much of a threat if they're traveling by themselves. They live according to their very-relaxed schedule, and don't get anybody stressed out in the process. When anti-airport dads travel with somebody else, though, the situation can become pretty chaotic. In another viral video, a TikToker shows off the main traits of their anti-airport dad, who is seen being busy (and chaotic) while traveling.

"Made everyone load their luggage in the rain," reads the first overtext appearing in the video. "Running back to the hotel because he forgot his phone," continues the overtext, as the video shot by inside the car shows the dad coming back from the hotel's door. Another similar scene follows next. "And his passport," adds the video poster.

Once they make it to the airport, the anti-airport dad is everything but happy to be there (unlike a true airport dad). "Angry because other people are flying," reads the description. But anti-airport dads are quick thinkers, and they know how to sneak their way in when they need to. In this case, he decided to "[lie] to TSA to skip the security line." Chaos.

If you're an anxious traveler, an anti-airport dad can easily seem like your worst nightmare. However, you can see it from another perspective. Sure, they're messy, always late, and not organized, but at the very least they are usually having a good time. While embracing the airport dad philosophy means being on top of it all and getting your ducks in a row, adopting the anti-airport dad lifestyle has more to do with living the moment, and learning to rid yourself of unnecessary stress when traveling. One comment to the first TikTok video we mentioned, specifically, said it better—that isn't an anti-airport dad, "That's an airport LAD."

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.