Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Airport Olympics

It's easy to hate airport security. But consultants do so much flying we have to learn to live with it. Once giving the screener the silent treatment (or the finger) gets tiring, what else is one to do?

A few years back, well after 9/11 but before the transparent slowdown booths were installed, my project team and I hit on a great way to while away the lines: The Airport Olympics!

The first event was pretty simple: The TSA Race. We would start together at a central location in ticketing before pulling out all the stops to race to the gate. Whoever got there first was the winner, and we had so many trips scheduled that we could get all statistically significant about it.

Truly, it is possible to get through security in a hurry. Forget the premiere line, why not try the crew lane? Stereotyping is critically important when selecting a line so as to avoid the hillbillies. And a rote knowledge of obscure security lines really helps - Dulles? Denver? You know what I'm talking about!

Our next event was Outlet Spotting. Whoever found the closest unused outlet to the gate got the medal. And the juice! And it's kosher to bring along a splitter and momentarily interrupt someone else's charging reverie! My hint: Think like a janitor…

Elite upgrades are passé (and biased towards the senior consultants) so our Scavenger Hunt included harder-to-score items: Gate upgrades, club passes, and meal, hotel, and clothing vouchers! The ultimate items? Flight attendant phone numbers, of course!

There was basically no way to lose the Airport Olympics, and cheating was encouraged. If I could have Fletched my way through the ground crew door I would have, and it would have been awesome to Abignale an FA's room card! Funny enough, we never got caught doing this. The TSA never even subjected us to extra screening!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billypalooza/

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