Just before Christmas, the New York Times ran a story about airport Travelers Aid stations. It's an anecdote-packed article that draws attention to just how helpful those volunteer-staffed booths at airports and train and bus stations can be, so I thought I'd pass it along as something to keep in mind next time you're stuck at an unfamiliar airport and need a little assistance.
Travelers Aid International has been around since 1851, and has legions of trained volunteers spread out across more than two dozen airports around the country. In addition to giving directions to the nearest restrooms and shuttle pick-up spots, workers offer assistance to stranded and lost passengers, and from the sound of the article, offer a personal touch in a place where we all sometimes feel anonymous and frustrated.
Honestly, before reading this article, it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask anything beyond basic directions at a Travelers Aid station. But it's nice to know there's a place to seek assistance besides the not-always-helpful airline counters.