Hoodies, Jeans and a Beard

I got off the airport bus and paused for a brief moment, wondering how I had got there. My account on Openflights.org tells me this was the 176th time I had used Edinburgh airport; usually at 3:46 in the morning (the extra minutes asleep is important at that time of the day) on the way to a client site somewhere. This time it was different; I had booked an off-peak flight in the evening and was dressed much more comfortably in jeans and a Gap hoody with a few days’ worth of beard growth.

I wandered through to departures and managed a brief smile at the new holographic lady they had installed. While waiting in the queue, my smile faded pretty quickly as I realised she only had two minutes worth of advice to give…and then started again.

Anyway I neared the boarding pass checkpoint and heard the staff member say to the chap in front of me in line (who has an electronic boarding pass) “When the light goes Green sir”, followed by “Have a great flight, sir”. I put on my finest smile (as, of course, I always do), handed over my [EasyJet, crumpled] boarding pass and said “Hello”. There was no response.

The light turned Green and my boarding pass was handed back to me without a word, a smile or any eye contact whatsoever. What had I done so wrong? Then I realised. The jeans, the beard, the hoodie. I was no business traveller today – no I was different; today I was an EasyJet passenger, responsible for taking all the fun and prestige out of travelling.

I thanked the man and left – assuming it was a brief anomaly in the usual experience that is the airport which I visit at least 50 weeks of the year.

I carried on my journey, darting past the many tourists with enormous wheelie cases and made it into the Exec Lounge. Now I can boast (!) that I am the Foursquare Mayor of said Lounge – which means I have had more visits than anyone else with as much time to waste in airports as I. I even get a crown added to my avatar. Cool huh?

Being evening, it was of course different staff in the lounge who I had not met before. There was one gentleman checking in as I arrived into the lounge. He had a Gold Flying Blue card (as do I, but that’s not the point) and was flying with KLM. He was checked in with a smile and a hint of a flirt. Great stuff. As I wasn’t travelling with KLM or AirFrance, my FB card wouldn’t get me in. Instead I used my Priority Pass (provide with compliments of Amex) and presented it with a smile. The staff member was professional enough however the smile (and indeed the flirting) was nowhere to be seen. I was beginning to worry.

Later during my stay (just after some pillock missed his flight as he was too busy bragging to his newly acquired lounge friends about his massive wealth, plentiful holidays and his “homes too plentiful to count around the world”) the lounge-lady (new word I may copyright one day) came around and cleared the tables. She worked her way around each of the tables near me – glanced at me and clearly decided there was no need to remove the (what has become standard) many individual portions of crackers and cheese packaging on my table.

I am (sorta) young. I don’t have too many wrinkles and I don’t wear corduroy trousers. I do drink Red wine, read a proper newspaper and always say please and thank you; clearly unless I wear a suit (or age 20 years) that’s not enough. I wonder what response I would get from the staff at the bar just outside? All of their customers look…well, they look just like me.

Crackers and Cheese fetish?  Like to hide from the madness of the airport?  Want Exec Lounge access regardless of the airline you are flying with?  Check out Priority Pass here.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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