Sunday, November 10, 2013

More Fun at the Airport?

Momotaro, a child folk hero at the Okayama Airport
Endless numbers of articles bemoan the stress and boredom of experienced when we fly.  Long lines.  Bad food.  Tiny seats.  Delays.   The life of the frequent flyer.  But, depending on your path of travel, there a signs of brighter moments.

Scott McCartney recently wrote about  “A Kinder Gentler Airport TSA Screening Area”. What a concept.   What had he seen?  A test at Dallas Fort Worth airport to change the environment (not the processes) of the screening area.  A company called Security Post Media and the airport worked together to create an environment similar to a hotel lobby.  Couches and chairs in the waiting area where we line up or post security to make it easier to put on your shoes.    Bins with images of flowers and waterfalls (and in other airports – advertisements) instead of the dull grey or white boxes we know and love.

But it isn’t just getting onto the flight that can dull our spirits.  Oh no.  For me it’s the hypnotic effect of the luggage carousel as I wait for my luggage at 1:00 am.  Around and around they go  - an endless line of  black bags that aren’t mine.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  According to an article on RocketNews (
Several airports in Japan have added sculpture to their luggage carousels. Imagine seeing a giant eyeball, immense pieces of sushi or a giant melon float toward you as you watch for your bag.  Now that’s a difference experience.  Startling.  Amusing.  Odd.  All that.  But not boring.

Could a trend emerge? Will we see angels in Los Angeles?  Cows in Chicago or the Empire State building glide by as we stand in the baggage area of JFK?  Now that would be fun. 

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