Tag Archives: airport gate

Predictable

I was waiting to board my flight to Chicago last night when I heard a fellow passenger utter the familiar phrase:

I bleed blue.

I immediately knew a UK Wildcats fan was at the gate, so I walked over and inserted myself into the conversation. What were the chances?

And can you guess how long it took before we were discussing the UK/Duke game of 1992?

50 days

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Oh, I got baggage

Today I retire a trusted member of my small business —

jack georges greenMy Jack Georges Milano laptop bag in vibrant green leather.

For more than a decade, this briefcase has accompanied me on my travels in these United States, Europe and Asia.

I have overstuffed it, crushed it, slept on it — and it has always looked as good as new.

Well, almost.

That bag was a great conversation starter at any airport gate, airport restaurant, airplane row, hotel lobby — basically anywhere.  Folks noticed my Jack Georges.  I’m sure I sold a bunch of them.

But today my Jack got to stay home and sleep in…and instead I brought along —

McKlein orange

 

My new briefcase by McKlein.  In bright orange.

Because I’ll admit it —

I like the attention.

It’s a living

I can be chatty in airport gate areas if I’m bored — even more so if my plane is delayed by weather.

Last night at DFW I ended up commiserating with a fellow passenger as we waited for our flight.  He was from Brooklyn, and sold..

Helicopters

hermes-helicopter2He had gone to Dallas to deliver one to a corporate client and was headed home.

I found his job to be very entertaining.  I don’t know exactly why.

I’m sure selling helicopters is not that different from selling cars or trucks or farm machinery.  But it is just such a niche….and absolutely the last thing I expected him to say in the long list of possible occupations.

And I kept thinking, “Man, where was this guy when I was doing improv comedy back in Kansas City?

‘Helicopter salesman’ would have been such a great suggestion.

Belly up

Remember The Accidental Tourist, starring William Hurt and Geena Davis?

(It came out way back in 1988 — Davis won an Oscar.)

Hurt portrayed travel writer Macon Leary, whose books were geared toward people who want to travel with “the minimum fuss and as little impact as possible on their lives.”

I realize I have become somewhat of an ‘accidental’  business traveler.

Once I hit the airport, I am focused on one goal:  getting to my destination as quickly as possible (with supporting goals of checking email, charging my phone and getting snacks for the plane). Though surrounded by literally hundreds of people, I’m in my own little world.

Even yesterday, with two hours until departure, I charged with single minded determination toward my gate at LAX.  But a chance glimpse of the UK-Florida basketball game in progress on a TV in an airport ‘On the Border’ pulled me up short.  So I decided to stop and watch.

Now, I usually always ask for a table in a restaurant.  Tables give me room for my entree and my phone or magazine or book.  It’s just more comfortable…and more private.

But yesterday, there wasn’t a table in sight, so I took a seat at the bar… and was quickly reminded of all the reasons why bars are great in the first place.

The bartender was a character — quick with a refill and a clever word.  The guy next to me was also a college basketball fan…and a proud grandfather.  When I started cheering on the Cats, a couple at the other end of the bar joined in.

Soon a UCLA alum and union organizer — who knew that job still existed?  — sat down and joined in the conversation.  When the Cats defeated the Gators, the whole bar joined me in clapping.

I was sad to have to leave.

But now back in New York, I can enjoy thinking about the people I met ‘by accident’ on my way home from work.

People watching

I spent part of my morning at Chicago O’Hare, one of my very least favorite airports.

(We have a history.  Nuff’ said.)

But today, I had a very enjoyable 20 minute stay.  Besides the fact that my flights were on time – shock, shock – my gate’s seating area was behind the bank of video monitors containing departure and gate information.

From my vantage point, I could watch people’s faces as they surveyed the monitors…and I have to admit, it was pretty darn entertaining.

Some people barely stopped…just a quick pause and squint of the eyes to confirm what they already knew, and they were on their way.

Others would walk up, looking totally lost and exhausted, their eyes darting around for quite some time before they landed upon their flight.  You could see the moment they latched upon the information they needed before they made their move toward their gate.

That part was funny, too.  They would often head one way, then the other, then back again.  (I’m sure I’ve done that little dance myself a time or two.)

Men often took the opportunity to adjust their pants and belt.  Kill two birds with one stone, ya know?  Very efficient.

And couples always found something to debate.  (Not efficient at all.)

Regardless of the drama, no one at the monitors seemed aware that I was watching this little slice of airport life…so I continued my shameless spying.

That is, until I turned and noticed a man sitting at a bench across the way watching me watch them with a smile on his face.

Oh well…I’m sure someone found him very funny, too.