Flying while lit is a major no-no
"If someone seemed well on their way, the trick was to find out when their flight was and then try to pass the blame onto somebody else. Our best line was, 'Hey, we want to make sure you make it onto your flight -- the flight attendants are really strict with this kind of stuff.' Nine times out of 10 they were pretty receptive to that."
Cutting people off is serious business
"Working at an airport bar, you have to cut a lot of people off. Constantly. Sometimes, you'd have to stop them way before you even started serving them. That gets a lot of people angry -- they're used to drinking six, eight, 10 drinks at a bar, but then they're surrounded by other people who are on the same level. But at an airport, you've got someone who's six beers deep next to a mom with three kids and she doesn't drink at all. It's just not traditional bar rules.
"One guy came in already pretty far gone and sat down, had one beer, and started eating off other people's plates. He tried to order another and, of course, I cut him off. Then he started getting mad at me, saying he was going to kick my ass, and when I tried to throw him out he threatened to call the cops. I was like, 'Oh, don't you worry, they're on the way.'
"We've even had people switch terminals just to keep drinking. We had one guy that was hammered at 5 or 6 in the morning and was throwing such a fit that they wouldn't let him on his flight. After security escorted him outside, the guy walked over to a gas station nearby, loaded up on tallboys, came back, and sat there drinking them right there outside the terminal, yelling at the guards to let him back in."
Regular customers are actually a (kind of sweet, kind of sad) thing
"I'd say 50-60% of people were regulars, which was something I didn't anticipate. Vermont has more business travelers than you'd think and there's quite a small network, so you'd see people who live at opposite ends of the country that have worked together before on projects or whatever, and they'll run into each other at this small airport in Vermont. That always cracked me up.
"Way more people tried to make conversation with me there than would have in a traditional bar. The commuters especially latched on to bartenders, more so than anyone else, because they're always in and out of hotels and airports and away from their families. And we'd remember their names and their companies, try to make them feel at home because they don't have that home experience."