There aren’t very many actions more tedious than being stuck in an airport, waiting on a flight. Expensive food courts, generic newsstands and gift shops wear out their welcomes quickly, especially if you don’t want to increase your family’s debt ratio. You could always go get tanked at an airport bar, but then again, how many people enjoy spending $50 on two watered-down mixed drinks? Face it, the longer the delay, the harder it is to find genuine enjoyment, or, well, a satisfactory reduction of boredom, wired devices be damned.
How many times can you actually scroll through your RSS reader and consider that a good time-wasting activity? Sure, complaining over the various social media outlets could be cathartic, but even that would run its course pretty quickly. Now, imagine if you’re delayed overnight because your flight was canceled, and you decided to stay in the airport to avoid going through the security screenings again. Oh, and the terminal is primarily empty and the overpriced watering holes, restaurants and stores are all closed.
Such a decision could get awfully boring, awfully fast, but what if you had a video camera? Could that change the excitement level of your delay? It could if you decided to film a movie during your delay, showing just how much fun one could have in an empty airport, provided they let their mischievous side shine through, and that’s just what’s going on in the video that leads this article.
The video, courtesy of Joe Ayala and Larry Chen, demonstrates, among other things, there is fun that can be had at the expense of an empty airport terminal. This includes wheelchair races, escalator races — apparently, tests of speed are the thing to do when boredom takes over — and having a beer at one of the aforementioned overpriced watering holes, only this time, without the appropriate staff in place. In other words, the fun had by the two is what many in the establishment would consider chaos at the expense of an empty, minimum-staffed airport terminal.
To be fair, almost none of the footage recorded by these two would be possible during normal business hours. Not without the appropriate reactions from those who work at the airport.
Nevertheless, the video was uploaded and it’s already hit the wires and had some viral success, and, off course, there is already some reaction available from the “establishment,” this time, in the form of a Dallas Fort-Worth official who was not impressed with the video in question:
DFW airport board member Betty Culbreath says while it may have been a prank, it sent the wrong message. “It’s not funny. It’s not going to happen again as far as I’m concerned. It should not have happened because it gives the perception the airport is sitting out there unguarded and that’s why I was concerned, and am still concerned.”
All things considered, Culbreath has a point. In today’s airport-security-is-a-major-concern world, a world that sees TSA agents perform security checks on infants, the fact that Ayala and Chen were “allowed” such unfettered access to the inner-workings of the DFW terminal — at least in concern to serving themselves a beer — is surprising.
While the minimum staffing edict is clearly being obeyed by DFW, the fact there isn’t any security roaming the terminal is a shock. Apparently, American airports are only a security concern during normal business hours.