Airport Lounge Crawls Are the Newest 'Sport' in Travel

Introducing the latest viral Reddit challenge to take part in before your next flight.

I'll let you in on a secret: if you like to drink (or if you can!), being buzzed at the airport is just so much better than navigating it sober. Plus, once you set foot on the plane, your odds of dozing off increase exponentially, and isn't that just nice?

Personally, I like heading to the airport's pub, sitting at the counter, and catching a light beer buzz in order to cool off my nerves (I call this my "Airport Football Dad" routine). Airports tend to make me a little overwhelmed (so many stimuli!) and let's face it, traveling isn't exactly the most relaxing activity there is. Getting to your destination is the real winner, but what you have to do in order to achieve that is usually tiring, and stressful, and have I mentioned that it's tiring?

Many travelers seem to agree, to the point that some of them have actually developed a new airport activity around this. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to airport lounge crawling.

On the r/Delta subreddit, one user recently shared their last airport crawl endeavor. "ATL Sky Crawl Completed," reads the post's title, followed by a collage of numerous photos of wine glasses and cocktails. For the uninitiated, the second photo offering the "Sky Club Crawl rules" in the form of a baggage tag, followed by a detailed checklist. Among the stated rules are "one beer/wine/shot per Sky Club," "tip your bartenders," and of course, "don't miss your flight."

The user then proceeds to tell their story and share their experience, "Jesus Christ I'm incredibly drunk," they write. "Here's my napkin in each SC pic, along with my luggage tag. I had a 3+ hour layover in Atlanta from LGA and wanted to take the opportunity to crawl! Kudos to everyone before me and Godspeed to everyone after me."

In the comment section, interest quickly piques as other Redditors notice the tag and its challenge. "Haha looks like a fun challenge. I'm impressed!" reads one of the comments. The user, though, takes a moment to warn travelers looking to participate in the new activity. "Just a friendly reminder to others as a former gate agent, anyone appearing to be intoxicated cannot be allowed to board. Pace yourselves, friends!"

If you're worried that this was just the product of that one traveler's arts and crafts ability, rest assured that it isn't the case. Many comments asked the original poster about the tag's origin, and they proudly spilled the tea right away. "There's a user in this sub who created the tags!" they explained. "I can't find their profile to tag them but they get alllll the credit! Here's the link"

On the website, four pub crawl tags are available for $13.65 each, and they each represent a different airport or a combination of them. For now, the anonymous seller created pub crawl tags for Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis, plus a general USA super crawl one.

The boozy airport activity has already been gaining traction in the past few months. When searching for "Sky Club crawl" on Reddit, multiple posts pop up, with travelers boasting their self-appointed "finisher" status backed up by photos of their checked-out tag. Just like real athletes, some of them pride themselves on their completion time stamp.

"I just completed the Sky Club Crawl in 1:45," posted one user in the r/Delta subreddit. "I started just after 0700 on a Sunday so the lower crowds helped."

Other boozy athletes, instead, need some cheer and support from the virtual nosebleeds. "Attempting ATL Sky Club Crawl AMA and keep me company!" chimes in another user. A comment points out the bold courage of this traveler. "[1 pm] on a Monday," the comment reads, referring to the original post's timestamp. "Lfg."

Just like in any sport and disciplines, sometimes things go wrong, and your performance might be affected. "My bag strap broke. RIP," live-updates the original poster in the comment sections. Luckily, the supporters they asked for are ready to do their job. "GO GO GO GO unlike the bag strap YOU CAN DO IT pom poms and cheering," replies one user.

And the support helped. The original poster eventually crossed the finish line, and boy, was it a real struggle! "Completed the Sky Club crawl," their comment reads. "It sucked. A lot of energy to get it done to sit for a 3 hour flight. Quick notes: never got to eat lunch, so peanuts at the bar are your friend. If a line is long, move on and come back. Save those for the end. Mimosa or Mich Ultra are the way to go. It's a marathon, not a sprint."Clearly, there are two sides to the same coin in this new travel sport. Either it makes your airport experience much better, or it ruins your day. But if you already know you're a lightweight or if you haven't eaten enough before starting your drinking marathon, maybe the airport bar crawl is not for you. As the latter Redditor pointed out, you truly have to be an athlete to enjoy the sport.

"This is not for the faint of heart," they said. "Time to buy the true bag tag."

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.