When you travel a lot, whether for business or leisure, you spend some “quality” time in airports. We’ve sung the praises of airline clubs in the blog but today I’m here to express gratitude to the thousands of bartenders who work the bars and pubs in airports worldwide. They are truly unsung heroes.
Think about it … in some smaller airports there isn’t a club. Or in some cases, you’re flying a different airline than normal, making the club not an option. This happened yesterday, when flying back to Phoenix from Salt Lake City on an airline I usually don’t fly. Having dropped off my colleague for his flight back to DC, I returned the rental car and breezed through security two hours before my flight was scheduled to board. I ran to the end of the terminal to try and catch an earlier flight to no avail. With time on my hands, I headed to the bar.
Ordering a double-tall gin and tonic, my bartender gently reminded me that Utah’s liquor laws prevent double pours. Oh well, I might have to have two. Landon and I talked a bit more about the vagaries of state liquor laws across our great nation, and it got me thinking about how tough it must be for airport bartenders.
First, their customers are very transitory. If you have a local hangout, you might stay for hours (as Judy and I used to do at Fat City Kitchen). Your bartenders become friends. You tip them well … they buy you rounds. They know what you like and have it ready pretty much before your bum hits the chair. A relationship with an airport bartender may last an hour, a bit longer if your flight’s delayed. As a result customers are fleeting and often skimp out on tips.
That’s why I make it a point to get their name, introduce myself, and tip them well when I leave. They have a difficult job, and if I can do something, no matter how small, to make their day a little brighter, then I’m in.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Get to know and tip your bartender along the journey!
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