I love everything about the airport. The warm gush of air as you enter the building on a cold winters morning. The overpriced, bad coffee. The frenzied, frantic people rushing about. The ‘please do not leave your baggage unattended’ announcements. The people going to and coming from exciting places. The thrill of forthcoming adventures. The tears of joy as loved ones embrace in the arrivals hall. The suitcases. The pilots walking by in their uniforms. I LOVE the airport.
I picked up a friend from the airport this morning. When we arranged it, he told me that he’d call when he was through customs and then he’d meet me in the free 15- minute pick up area. I don’t think so. That’s not how my family does it.
First, you always park, go in, and wait in the arrivals hall. Yes it’s expensive, but that’s just the price of travel. No need to bemoan the situation, it is what it is. (If it’s a departure, the same rule applies).
Second, arrive early so you don’t miss the person as they come through customs. (This happened to me once. I was picking up a friend arriving home after a month abroad in India. She came through customs very quickly, looked for me, couldn’t see me, so jumped in a taxi and went home. She didn’t have her mobile, so couldn’t call. I waited for an hour maybe, and then got a call from my home – but no one should have been there. It was my friend). Fail.
Third, balloons and flowers are always welcome. When I was 21 I travelled to Thailand and Cambodia for a month with a friend from uni. When we came home, both of our parents were waiting at the gate, but mine had flowers and balloons for me.
Travelling IS exciting, and it is especially lovely when your friends and family recognise this too.