Five stages of the airport travel mindset

Stages of the airport mindset


It’s early morning, a good morning. You get out of bed a bit easier than usual. It’s a good morning, after all. You perform you’re morning rituals in one order or another; washing, breakfast, hitting the shower. How a person starts the day makes all the difference, or that’s what they claim, at least. Today is the start of a new journey. Goodbye troubles and boredom, hello adventure and spectacle. But first, you have to get to the damn airport. Enter the five stages of hanging around the airport.

STAGE 1: Getting ready

You check your watch or whatever device you use to track time and see you still have plenty left. Time for a cup of coffee or tea, maybe some biscuits. There are no worries because you are a smart person. You packed your bag(s) thoroughly, forgot absolutely nothing. Transportation has been taken care of. Maybe a friend or a relative will take you to the airport. Public transportation? Nah, public transportation is a joke in my country. Taking your own car and driving yourself is an option, but “smart parking” isn’t as cheap as the advertisements say. One might as well take a cab.

Your ride arrives. One last check around the house to make sure everything can be left behind safely. Turning off the lights, the heater, unplugging the coffee machine and so forth. Is everything turned off? I’m sure of it. As you grab your bag and want to take it to the car, you realize: I forgot to pack something! Frantically you check you bag. What did I forget?! I forgot nothing. Actually, I did. Now you remember; you forgot to lock the back door. Upon checking if the back door is locked, you discover that it is.

STAGE 2: On the road

Small talk with the driver to fill the time. The conversation flows from one topic to another, occasionally interrupted by silence. A silence that grows longer and longer as a nagging feeling starts to take over. Did I forget something after all? You keep up appearances and pretend everything is fine. Damn, why didn’t we leave earlier, there would have been time to go back! No sense worrying about it now…

The car pulls up at Departures and you get out. Your driver tells you goodbye, prompting you to wave back as he drives off. You rush inside the airport and start digging through your bag or suitcase. Where’s that damn passport?! Wrong compartment. You check the other one. There it is, all safe. See? I knew everything was fine. You feel silly and get going

STAGE 3: Killing time

No matter how short the line is, checking in takes forever. Luckily, you’re prepared and made sure you’re traveling with hand luggage only (Seriously, travel with hand luggage only as much as possible). That’s one line that can be skipped. It’s straight to Passport control. There’s another line there, unavoidable, but short. Einstein’s theory of relativity applied to airports: Standing in line takes for ever, but not really. Nerves start to play up. Oh no, I look nervous, they’ll think I’m hiding something! They don’t think you’re hiding something. You’re through. Those hours were actually minutes. So much time left to kill. It’s early and waiting at the gate seems like, go figure, a waste of time. So what should one do? I know, I’ll explore the airport.

Ten minutes later…

I’ve explored the airport. Exploring an airport once or twice is fun, but the more you visit the same airport, the less remains to explore. Still, there’s plenty of time left till boarding so you make another round. At your most casual pace you work you’re way through the shops. Check out some electronics, some magazines. Nothing really worth buying. Tax-free shopping? Tax free shops are approximately zero percent cheaper than regular shops. Bars and restaurants are approximately 50 percent more expensive than regular ones. You haven’t left the country yet and already you’re getting ripped off. Somehow you manage to resist the urge to buy all those bargains and head back to the gate.

STAGE 4: Boarding.

Upon returning, you see a crowd of people has beaten you to all the decent seats. You could opt to squeeze yourself in between strangers, but you feel slightly uncomfortable doing that. Sadly that means you’ll have to stand or sit down on the floor. Despite all that exploring, there’s still a lot of time left. Good thing than, you came prepared. You brought a (e-)book and music with you. Why didn’t I do this when I got here earlier?

Tick tock goes the clock until people are finally allowed to board. Of course, business class passengers get to go first. Jerks. And now? Do you get in line ASAP or do you wait, take a seat as people pace forward like zombies into the plane. Whether you’re first in line or last, the plane ain’t flying till it’s flying, right? For the most spectacular of banal reasons you compromise and manage to find yourself somewhere in the middle of the line. Which, is the worst place in line. Damn you, Einstein.

STAGE 5: Take off

As you walk through, the jet bridge, that exciting feeling you had at the start of the day comes back. You’re finally going on a holiday. A broad smile on your face as the flight attendant greets you and point you towards your seat. All that’s left now is storing your luggage and the party is ready to start. Excuse me, pardon me, sorry, my bad. People apologize to another as they clumsily try to avoid bumping into their fellow passengers in the far too narrow aisles. People sitting next to aisles pretend not needing to cover their head for the reality of backpacks smacking into their faces or the chances of improperly stored luggage falling out of the overhead compartments.

Eventually, you to, have found your seat and it next to the window. Perfect! But who will come sit next to you? Please don’t let it be children, please don’t let it be children. It’s a couple and their adorable baby. Oh well, at least it’s only a twelve-hour flight. Luckily, if there’s one thing airports can teach us, is that time flies. You sigh. Enter the five stages of flight…


  • 1

5 thoughts on “Five stages of the airport travel mindset

  1. I want to show my passion for your generosity for those people that really need guidance on this important matter. Your special commitment to getting the solution all around has been exceptionally valuable and has continually empowered girls just like me to arrive at their ambitions. Your amazing valuable information entails a great deal to me and far more to my office workers. With thanks; from all of us.

  2. Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a marvellous opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It’s usually very ideal plus full of a lot of fun for me personally and my office mates to search your website really three times in one week to read the latest guidance you will have. And indeed, we are certainly satisfied concerning the superb knowledge you give. Selected two tips in this post are essentially the most effective I have ever had.

  3. Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a breathtaking chance to read in detail from this blog. It’s always very enjoyable and also jam-packed with a great time for me personally and my office mates to visit your website at the very least 3 times per week to read through the new guidance you have. And definitely, I’m at all times astounded with your striking opinions you serve. Some 2 tips in this article are indeed the best we have ever had.

  4. I must show my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this dilemma. Just after researching through the internet and finding recommendations that were not helpful, I believed my life was done. Being alive minus the solutions to the difficulties you have resolved through the article content is a crucial case, and the ones that would have negatively affected my career if I had not come across your blog post. Your own expertise and kindness in touching almost everything was very helpful. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a point like this. I can also now relish my future. Thanks very much for your high quality and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to suggest the sites to any person who should have guide about this area.

  5. I precisely wanted to appreciate you once more. I’m not certain what I would have made to happen without those tactics shown by you on such a situation. It had been a frightening scenario in my view, nevertheless noticing the very specialised mode you solved that made me to leap over fulfillment. Now i’m happy for the service as well as sincerely hope you realize what an amazing job that you’re putting in training other individuals thru your web blog. Probably you have never met any of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.