I adore airport bars. I'm one of those people that hates to fly but flies all the damn time and nothing, I mean nothing, takes the edge off like a little pre-flight booze. I routinely get to the airport three hours early just so I can kick back, send a few emails, sip on something strong, and enjoy a few eps of muted SportsCenter before takeoff. A good airport bar -- and, more importantly, a good airport bartender -- has saved my anxiety-ridden ass on the regular.
But despite the number of hours I've spent sucking down $11 beers and microwaved quesadillas, I can't even imagine what it must be like to be the guy pouring the pints. Airport bars are their own breed entirely, a far cry from your average pubby environment, and airlines have very strict rules when it comes to dealing with intoxicated passengers (i.e., if you fly too close to the sun at an airport bar, you might find yourself not flying at all). But no matter how much the folks behind the scenes try to control the madness, drowning a group of pre-flight jitter-ers, stressed-out parents, and horny business travelers in a whole lot of high-priced liquor is anything but predictable.