As I was writing this post, I was at Vienna airport, waiting for my plane. Sitting there with a cup of coffee to my right and my boarding pass next to my laptop, I couldn’t help but think about how much I love hanging out at airports. Sure, it can be annoying too – especially if your flight is delayed or you’re stranded because of bad weather conditions. Generally, though, I love the atmosphere of airports and here’s why.
I met a bunch of interesting people
Thousands of people from all over the world cross paths at airports. Yes, even in Klagenfurt, which happens to have a rather small airport. Just last week, when I checked in, the steward told me that Naomi Campbell and Cynthia Nixon had arrived in Klagenfurt earlier! (There was a high society event in town.) And one time, I spotted Rolf Schneider at Klagenfurt’s airport – my German readers probably know who that is.
But you don’t necessarily have to be a celebrity to be interesting. The thought that every single one of the people I’ve met at airports so far has their own backstory and everybody’s life is just as complex as mine, is astonishing, don’t you think? Fun fact: When I flew home from Florence, I was on the same plane as a former university professor as mine. I mean, what are the odds!?
Random Acts of Kindness
Despite the risk of sounding cheesy: We should all be kind to each other so I’m a strong supporter of random acts of kindness. I always try to be friendly and patient, even if the chaos that you might get into when travelling may be nerve racking. And other people seem to have the same attitude.
Take Tommy, for instance; a guy I met on my way to Pensacola, Florida, where I went on an exchange semester. Both of us had been on the road for about 24 hours when we started talking. He managed to get a free toiletry set from the ground personell and asked for an extra one which he gave to me. Nice, huh?
Or another time, an airport official drew a smiley face on my boarding pass after the security check. That literally made my day. And one time, a steward on the plane gave me an extra shot of Bailey’s. Just because. Thanks!
Did you know that you can make money while you’re at airports? At least under certain circumstances. When I was waiting to board my plane from Vienna to Klagenfurt, it turned out that the flight was overbooked. So they asked for volunteers who would wait for two hours to catch another flight to Klagenfurt. Those volunteers were promised 250 Euros. Neat, huh?
At the end I didn’t have to wait for the next plane because yet another plane was delayed and the flight wasn’t overbooked after all. So there was no cash for me. But I didn’t mind since I was a tad tired anyway. Plus: I got to see an amazing sunset on the plane.
Security checks at airports
I don’t know why but I’m always the one who ends up having to go through a particularly thorough security check. Seriously. They’ve checked my hands (and socks!) for explosives (or drugs?), they’ve took me aside and have gone through my suitcases and did whatever security measures they do whenever they pick out random people.
At this point I’m not even surprised or nervous anymore when they tell me that I’ve been randomly picked. I know the drill. But I do wonder why it’s always me.
While some people say that waiting for a plane for three to four hours is dull, I wouldn’t want to have it the other way round.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once again: I know that travelling can be stressful. That’s why I usually book my journeys in a way that I have plenty of time in between flights. While some people say that waiting for a plane for three to four hours is dull, I wouldn’t want to have it the other way round. I might be clumsy and messy at times, but I am very, VERY punctual and I hate being late. Naturally, I dread the thought of missing my flight.
So usually, when I wait for my flight, I grab some coffee and my laptop and edit photos or work on other projects (such as this blog post). Or I spend time doing things I usually don’t have enough time for. Like reading a magazine. It all leads down to me being super relaxed and content when it’s finally time to board the plane.
Do you enjoy an airport’s atmosphere? How do you kill time when you have to wait for your plane? Leave a comment or drop me a message!