If I know one thing about women, it’s that we love nothing more than getting hit on at the airport. Honestly. We can’t get enough. As we’re strutting down the terminal, spinner-wheel luggage obediently at our sides and big-ass LeSportsac tote on our shoulders, we’re feeling on fleek just envisioning all the beach time we’re about to soak up with our #besties. And hell yeah, we want you to notice.
But not so fast there, Airport Adonis. Just because we love it doesn’t make us EASY. So to help you out (like we did at Whole Foods AND Chipotle), we’ve nailed down exactly how to go in for that final approach with your potential tarmac temptress.
Get there early
The number one step to finding your first officer for life is to actually leave time to do it. Huffing and sighing in the security line while audibly mumbling “Oh my god, COME ON!” over and over again does not make us say, “Oh yea, that’s the guy I want to have sex with in an airplane bathroom.” This little game shouldn’t be new to you. Play it cool, bro.
Wait until AFTER security to pounce
Trying to pick a woman up before security is like trying to get people to “Like” your “Omg worst day ever...” status update. Instant fail and now everyone hates you. Anxiety and tension run high pre-security check, as everybody’s worried about making their damn flights. Patience is a virtue, and you’ll have plenty of time to scan our bodies after TSA does.
But still nail security
Just because you can’t land the date before security doesn’t mean you can’t subconsciously impress us. This means dress to impress. And excess baggage means you’ve got just that: excess baggage. If we’re waiting for you to remove your belt, shoes, pocket change, watch, pocket watch (wait, what is it 1890?), hat and “Umm... sir, is your phone still in your pocket? NOTHING IN YOUR POCKETS, SIR,” then color us unimpressed. Forgetting to remove your laptop is also a major lady boner killer. Power play tip: Nothing says “roam about my cabin” like a hottie with TSA Pre-Check. Just saying.
Stock up on snacks
Need an instant ice breaker? A handsome stranger offering up a lady some duty-free Toblerone is a surefire way to do it.
Be a literary lover
Ladies on vacay LOVE airport bookstores. This is where we go to buy those scandalous paperback beach reads without fear of being judged by someone we actually know. Set up camp at Hudson Booksellers and wait for us to come in to… er… browse. Do your homework beforehand and familiarize yourself with some of the more tawdry titles. That way, when you see that I’m flipping through Lord of Scoundrels you can playfully whisper in my ear, “You PLUS me PLUS page 46.” That’s enough to make us putty in your sweaty, passport-clenched palms. Don’t forget to wink. But, like, not creepily.
Practice your food courtship
A never-ending frenzy of long lines, wafting smells, and egregiously priced bottled water, the food court is a built-in first-date bull’s eye. ESPECIALLY if said food court has a Panda Express. Send a platter of Honey Walnut Shrimp over to my table (because this happens at airports). When the clerk tells me, “It’s from the gentleman at the counter,” you’re going to want to be that gentleman.
Or just scope out the bar scene
Airports are some of the world’s most magical places where happy hour is literally any hour. Morning Bloodys (straight vodka?) roll into afternoon beers which roll into evening wines which roll into more straight vodka. With all that liquid courage flowing all day long, making your move at the airport bar (and here are America’s best, btw) is like taking candy from a baby that is handing you candy. All that confidence just seeping from your pores -- we can smell it a mile away. Of course, don’t forget to repeat that joke about us joining the Mile High Club about 17 times. We’ll laugh every time. And if we tell you that we’re looking to enjoy some drinks with our friends before the flight, you know that means: we’re just playing hard to get.
Spring for the lounge
If you’ve failed in the food court AND at the bar, fear not, you still have a secret weapon in your arsenal: lounge access. Nothing woos a woman more than free wi-fi and a never-ending buffet spread of deli meats and Babybel cheese wheels. Mention that there’s a shower and you’ll most certainly get permission to push back… maybe even in said shower if you’re a truly gifted priority status paramour.
But wait, that’s not all...
There are a few other GUARANTEED ways to win over your in-transit infatuate:
1. Be the guy hounding the gate agent about when you’ll start boarding. It shows that you’re punctual.
2. Always try to board ahead of your designated zone and then scoff when they tell you it’s not your turn. It says that you go for what you want in life and she’ll respect your drive and passion.
3. Stand on the moving platform. This signals that you still have time to stop and smell the roses.
4. Hog ALL of the power outlets at the charging station. You want her to know you’re important, right?!
5. Wear pajamas. You’ve heard of peacocking, yes?
If all else fails: just corner her at the gate
Hitting on women at the airport bookstore, food court, or the lounge can be risky; since, you know, she can always get up and walk away. A strong move is to just find a girl at the gate (or on the plane!). Since there’s a 99.9% chance that the gate she’s sitting at is hers, then score. Touch down. There’s nowhere for her to run. Armed with that bountiful supply of Toblerone, just wait for her to lock eyes with you and move in for the kill. But you know, be less predatory.
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Meagan Drillinger is a contributing writer for Thrillist and thinks places of transience and anonymity, like airports, are the best places to find love. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @drillinjourneys.