Ahh to be at the airport during the holidays. Filled with the hustle and bustle of weary and anxious holiday travelers there is never a shortage of interesting things to see. If you're catching an earlier flight you'll most likely witness people still dressed in pajamas. Yes, pajamas. Airplanes are nothing but an extension of our beds at home these days and what better outfit to wear on a long early morning flight than what you went to sleep in? There are business men and women running about the airport already late for meetings five hours away. They scuffle about in their two thousand dollar suits pressed and custom fitted, Bluetooth devices in their ears and multiple cell phones clipped to their waists resembling a superhero’s utility belt. They take up all of the many hundreds of charging ports for your portable devices located around the terminal, charging their entire office with them. This leaves you to forgo browsing the interwebs with your phone in order to save precious battery power. You pop your headphones in your ears and play the same playlist of songs on your phone because you've been too lazy and or busy to update your music during the rush of the holiday season. Let’s face it; between buying gifts for your huge extended family and the office, and trying to make it to the gym as often as you can to shed off that winter weight you've had no time for yourself.
Mid-afternoon flights don’t get any better than early morning ones.They are even worse.The airport quickly becomes bursting with families and couples. Kids run amock through the terminal covering everything they touch in sticky-who-knows-what, and tween couples are sitting awkwardly on the floor making out. You’re trying to enjoy your thirty dollar turkey sandwich that you bought at an airport bookstore, but it grows more and more difficult when the five year old in front of you is turned around in his seat staring you down like a bull at a bullfight. The stale cold bread and old cheese is hard enough to scarf down without the added pressure of pleasing this kid. Finally they announce that they will begin boarding over the PA system. You stand up thinking that you’ll be among the first to board because you've managed to score boarding zone two on your ticket. However, you fail to realize that they have to board all of the Priority Members first. The Gold Star passengers, the First Class Flyers, the people in wheelchairs, the people with kids, the kids traveling alone, members of the Military (bless them for what they do) and the business class people. You look down at your watch and notice it’s already been forty-five minutes and they haven’t even gotten through the Premier Mileage Plus Extravaganza passengers yet, or the passengers wearing khaki pants! You plop down into your uncomfortable leather chair and take a sip of your seven dollar bottle of water as you eagerly wait to be called.
If you’re like me, you’ll choose a late flight. Late flights are my preferred flights. I show up at the airport with no traffic problems. Say good bye to my ride and head straight to the check-in. There is little to no line and I am all checked in and through the security line in about ten minutes. From there I head straight to my favorite places in the airport; the bar. I love airport bars. Yes, the drinks are expensive but nothing calms the nerves of travel like a smooth bourbon on the rocks, or a nice lager. Some airports even have iPads at the bar so you can order your drink, pay and tip the bartender in one easy step. You don’t have to wait to get their attention, or flag them down like an airport ground controller. I get my drink, plug in my headphones and jam out to my new playlist that I had time to create peacefully relaxing in the big empty terminal. The airline calls out the boarding groups and being as how there are only forty of us it goes pretty fast. I reach my empty row of seats, stretch out sideways, cover myself with my blanket and prepare for a nice relaxing flight. That, ladies and gentleman is how to properly survive airports.