Reader Mail : “Why do you like airports so much?”

This week’s reader mail is a surprisingly challenging question … and one I am happy to try and answer. Bill asks “Why do you like airports so much? They are noisy and frantic buildings people are usually trying to leave as quick as they can.

Bill … why do I like airports? Well lets change that question a bit … lets make the question “why do you love airports so much?”

I have loved airports my whole life, having grown up at the end of a runway at New York’s JFK International Airport I used to spend my nights watching planes coming and going until I fell asleep and would take every opportunity I could to go to the airport.

While airports are noisy and frantic, I find that pace peaceful. Airports are a microcosm of the world we live in, they are a place of high emotions and social interactions and larger airports, such as New York’s JFK, London Heathrow, Hong Kong International Airport are a continual stream of cultures, languages and backgrounds of travelers. The ability to watch planes, watch people and escape into the pace of busy airport makes airports an ideal oasis … at least I think so.

Spending the day sitting against the window of a busy terminal watching the movement on the ramp and observing everything around me, living in what is essentially a city that changes 90% of its population every few hours, I find the airports peaceful, refreshing and often an environment where I can sit and work in peace.

There are many intangibles to loving airports, such as the smell of jet fuel … the constant flow of movement,  the sense of excitement everywhere, even if you’re not traveling and the memories made as a child in and around airports.

So why do I like airports so much? Because they make me happy.

Happy Flying!


  1. I’m not a huge airport fan (I’m usually pretty stressed until I’m seated on the plane), but one thing I love is the sense of connection to distant places that I get from seeing far-away city names on the departures screen or planes from distant places sitting on the tarmac. (I still remember passing through the old Hong Kong airport years ago and seeing on the departures board such exotic names as Denpasar, Kuala Lumpur, and Bandar Seri Begawan…)

  2. Airports are boundaries where people switch from travelling to arriving, or from every-day life to travelling. They are places for farewells and welcomes, heartfelt goodbyes and joyful reunions, excitement over a journey, reflections of yesterday and thoughts of tomorrow.

    Like many other boundary places (eg beaches, mountains) airports can be somewhere to rush by as soon as possible or somewhere to linger depending on the mood of the time and place.

    They’re also a great place to people watch. Emotions are palpable. You never know who or what you’ll see next.

    I love airports too. They’re almost like home.

  3. I love airports so SO much ! I love it becase i like watching people and looking around. I like going in the restarunts , watching planes take off and so on~ Maybe i like it so much because im a kid, lol.

  4. I feel like i’m just the way as you are. My father goes to airports all the time, but I never get to go because of school. I don’t why I am intrigued by all these things going on in an airport! Watching all the different people through security, the planes taking off and leaving, the restaurants, all of it. Just being there seeing all of this taking place, gives me like a peacefulness that it’s somewhere that I like to be, not just stuck at home doing something else. I am so intrigued by airports that i am thinking about working at one for college.

  5. I absolutely love airports as well! I’m pleasantly surprised to find someone who shares my fancy of them!

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