Airports summon thoughts of restless red-eyes, rolling wheels clunking on and off moving walkways, and staring at the baggage claim belt that never has your bag. All the rushing around isn’t exactly conducive to meeting women—unless you slow down. Get there with enough time to chill and you’ll realize just how many others are merely killing time, alone, and probably open to some company. And given how fleeting an airport meeting could be, it’s also sort of romantic. So we’ve enlisted Patrick Kenger of Pivot Image Consulting to share his best tips for winning over that 10 in row 20… Photo courtesy of Twenty20/@KayleighHarrington
Put effort into your appearance: “Most guys tend to fly wearing the most comfortable items they have, and I get wanting to be comfortable on a long flight, but you can set yourself apart from all the other men by dressing better,” Kenger says. “A casual suit always works well. If you’re wearing flip-flops, don’t even try.”
Choose airport bars wisely: Because people are traveling on all different flights from your terminal, the chances you’ll get far with a woman you meet at a bar near your gate are slim to none. Instead, try the bars outside security, which are generally populated by people who are either waiting for friends or in no rush to go through the gate. “The women there usually have a relaxed mentality,” Kenger explains, as opposed to that checked-in, headphoned chica in her pre-flight mental cocoon. Photo courtesy of Twenty20/@Abeshoots
Chat up people around her first: “Before you talk to your ‘target,’ talk to the person on the other side of you so you establish that you’re just a fun guy who enjoys chatting up strangers,” Kenger advises. “Once you’re ready to open up to her, you both have one thing in common: travel. So start there.” Inquire about where she’s coming from or going, if she lives there or, on the contrary, what brings her there.
Ask for her local expertise, or offer yours: “If you’re visiting, you can ask about the city, what’s fun to do, what sights to see,” Kenger says. But rather than just asking, ‘What should I visit?’ ask, ‘What’s your favorite?’ to trigger an emotional response. “These questions make her think fondly about those things and associate you with positive feelings and memories.” Once you’ve established rapport, you can ask for her number. “Say something like, ‘Let’s meet up and you can show me around,’ ” Kenger suggests. “If it’s your hometown, flip the script and offer to take her to a couple must-see spots.’ ”
Check in later, but do get to the airport early: “Usually people check in 24 hours in advance—don’t,” Kenger recommends. “Wait until around the 15- to 20-hour mark to check in online. You’re aiming to get around the B 30-to-50 boarding group. This is the perfect set-up. Being near the back gives you a chance to scope out the line and see who’s traveling with you.” You also have a longer opportunity to chat them up before you board—especially because you got to the airport with more than enough time.
Don’t be so direct: “This isn’t a nightclub; while a woman might appreciate you telling her how attractive you think she is, it will rarely result in anything more than an awkward, short-lived conversation,” Kenger says. “Situational openers work better.” Comment on your surroundings or things you have in common. ‘Is there a bar around here?’ ‘Is there a Starbucks in this terminal?’ ‘Is our flight on time?’ Then, since you’ve got the time to kill, you might want to ask her to grab a quick bite or a drink.
Stay cool, calm and collected: “Airports are a great place to meet women—most will always be willing to entertain your approach, if only out of sheer boredom, and there is an endless amount of opportunity always coming and going,” Kenger adds. “If you bomb, you'll probably never see her again, so don’t sweat it.”