Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Airport Hang Time
I don't know why transportation companies want to get you to the airport so early. If there is a trans company involved with one of my corporate shows and I didn't make the reservations, I spend a lot of extra time at airports.

My experiences flying on and off cruise ships has taught me that the smaller the airport the longer the wait. It is the paradigm of Murphy's law impacting the road warrior. I have therefore become adept at renting airport space/time.

This is my very situation now as I cool my jets at the Puerto Villara airport. In spite of my insistence that three hours before my flight was too long to be at the airport, the ground trans company was equally insistent that the luggage search they do by hand was a long and tedious process. It took about 15 minutes this time. Most of that spent trying to explain ventriloquism in Espanol. So I am called upon once again to rent some airport space/time.

If you are hungry the best place to rent space/time is at the airport restaurant. But if you've already eaten lunch that is not an option.

Second best place for space/time is Starbucks, but alas here in PV the coffee tables and chairs have all been taken.

The last option is the airport bar. Because the clientele at an airport bar is usually the nervous kind of drinker, they tend to pound down liquid courage very quickly and with a focus of purpose. So the bartenders seem to be a little more pushy at the airport. Make the sale before they call the flight, is the general rule. This makes it harder to nurse a brew for a long time without skill and technique.

It is problematic If you have an early morning flight and you choose to rent space/time at the bar. You tend to get looked on as either an alcoholic or a southerner. Morning stradegies for airport rental of space/time is more refined. That will be covered during another blog.

So here is my secret method. Since I found out my Amor All and gaff tape hint was common knowledge to Texas art directors, this may be old news, too, but here goes any way.

Find the least busy bar if there is more than one. Order a drink (the least expensive. No call brands, no specialty drinks, local beer on tap is the best) and tell the bartender to run a tab. Flash a credit card, sometimes they hold it, usually not. Drink the first few sips quickly. This will encourage the bar keep to assume you are a southerner. Then milk it. Get involved in the newspaper, your book, your sketch pad or cell phone. (Faking a phone conversation is acceptable, and done more often than you suspect. Just remember that if you get a real call during a fake one say loudly, "hold on.. Another call is coming in).

When you get to the last sip of beer the bartender will say, "how about another?" Think about it for as long a period as you can pull off, then say, as if you are distracted, "Yes. In just a while". Now comes the hardest part. Wait on taking that last sip as long as sanely possible. I have found as a rule of thumb: wait a percentage of the time you have left until boarding the plane. ie, If you have an hour left. Try to wait fifteen minutes, or roughly a quarter of the time. If the bartender gets distracted and doesn't come around for longer go with it. If you can stretch it to 30 minutes before boarding you can look at your watch in total shock and say, "Geez look at the time, I have to go I better settle up". In that case you have won.

However, the absolute best way to pass the time in my experience? Find a corner of the airport and write a blog about renting airport space/time using your Blackberry. Thumb typing can use up a lot of time. "Geez, look at the time, I have to go. I better settle up."

Thanks for helping out.

As you were,


Bob Conrad said...

Glad to be of assistance.

Roomie said...

It was our pleasure to be sure!!!
Carry on,