Citing results of a survey by French flight-booking site Jetcost.com, the Washington Post is reporting that around 10 percent of American travelers have had a sexual encounter at the airport. That compares with just 8 percent who claimed to be members of the Mile High Club.
The surprising (to me) finding was based on responses from almost 5,000 Americans who were at least 18 years old and had flown at least once in the past two years. That’s a substantial enough data set to give the survey results a solid degree of statistical significance.
Airports are hardly hospitable environments for romantic gestures. The crowds. The high-visibility presence of law enforcement, TSA, and airline workers. The oppressive air of stress and anxiety. The garish lighting and lack of cozy nooks. My guess would have been that closer to one in a hundred had indulged in airport hanky-panky. One in 10? That’s a head-shaker.
But never mind my skepticism. Back to the survey results.
As to the all-important question of where, exactly, these encounters took place, the results were as follows:
- 42% in a public restroom
- 28% in a storage area
- 14% “under a coat”
- 12% in a VIP lounge
More grist for skepticism here. Coupling in a public restroom? In the many visits I’ve made to airport restrooms over decades of air travel, I have never seen a woman enter or exit a stall in the men’s room, with or without a partner. Nor for that matter have I ever seen a man enter or exit an airport women’s restroom.
My 19-year-old daughter has a stock response to assertions that she finds questionable but undeserving of a counter response: “Interesting,” followed by a pursing of the lips and a brief head-nod.
My response to this survey? Interesting, followed by a pursing of the lips and a brief head-nod.
Reader Reality Check
Based on your own time spent in airports, how frequently do airport hook-ups take place?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.