“Are you trying to get your cherry?” inquired a cheeky young voice.
My Aunty Win cowered behind the airport seat where we were waiting for her flight to board.
My aunt had been visiting from England for a couple of weeks and whiskey sours had been the drink of choice at that time.
As she sat discreetly fishing in her glass for the fruit, a young English lad stood up on his seat and looked over at her, announcing to the world what she was doing.
Aunty Win turned purple, while Kay and Ray and I fell about laughing.
A year later I was working in that lounge myself.
There were no security checks. Ray parked across the street and we all trotted up to the lounge. When Win’s flight was called for boarding, we went out on the roof to watch the aeroplane depart.
People used to go to the airport for fun then, to, you know, look at aeroplanes!
When security became an issue, you were lucky if you could edge your car in to the terminal for two minutes to say a hasty farewell and drop your passenger off.
And airports became such chaos, who wanted to go there anyway?
Recently, however, I read somewhere that going to airports is becoming a “thing” again. Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are now available for non-travellers. Should you choose, you may go there to enjoy the shopping and other facilities.
The idea, apparently, is to create a substitute for the Mall atmosphere that has been vanishing everywhere. The Mall cruisers are keen for somewhere new to spend their day.
From what I gather, this is being done on a trial basis, with some limitations. Of course, the truth is, it’s all about money. There are tons of shops in airports but what person boarding an aircraft is going to buy a whole lot? Place an order? Maybe.
Then there are all those restaurants and fast food stands hurting for business.
However, if the non-travelling public can be enticed in, it’s likely to be a bonanza!
Is it a good idea? My personal opinion, be it ever so humble, it is not. The last thing any airport really needs is more people to control.
And when there are problems with flights, it’s the passengers who need the availability of those facilities and the actual space to circulate and sit down.
But the world seems to worship money, so….