General panic has hit airports over the air traffic control furloughs brought about by sequestration. Many media outlets, airlines and customers have been wringing their hands over what some are calling the "airport armageddon." The frisky among us, meanwhile, have used it as an excuse to hook up.
The dating site MeetattheAirport.com sent out a release Tuesday claiming it's experienced an 800 percent jump in membership since Sunday night, just as the hard-core delays in Los Angeles and New York were getting under way.
"We’ve noticed a 300% increase in member sign-ups out of New York and Washington, D.C., in the past 24 hours as people are preparing themselves for longer wait times and delays,” said the site's founder, Steve Pasternack, who also started the niche site SugarDaddie.com.
According to "Meet at the Airport," the site boasts 80,000 members, each one potentially stuck for hours drinking watered-down airport drinks and eating crummy food. The site claims 20 percent to 30 percent of flights are delayed, so why not used this airport downtime "more wisely."
It begs the question, though, where exactly could the amorously inclined meet in a D.C. airport?
According to one airline employee, um, kinda nowhere.
"I mean honestly ... perhaps before 9/11 there are a hand full of airports with dark corners," he told HOH. "The only thing I could remotely think of right now — first class lounge, but in terms of full-on getting down ..."
He says that outside of the bathroom, or in a handful of airports, the hotels right alongside airport grounds, there really aren't that many places.
A former D.C.-based flight attendant agrees, but ticks off a few suggestions: "You can go into one of the first-class lounges and use the showers stalls. If you were on the same flight, obviously the 'mile-high club.' You can use the family bathroom, but that's gross."
According to this former flight attendant, Dubai International and London Heathrow have hotels inside the airport premises.
So, had she ever heard of anyone who had a flight-fling?
She had to think for a minute. Then she remembered an old story about a friend of hers who got once got friendly with a flight attendant on a trip from San Francisco to D.C.
The two had landed and, since the flight attendant was on a layover, they retired to her hotel room.
"So ... it happens," she said.
"Crew members, that’s a different matter," the airline employee agreed.
Crew members will have an employee or crew lounge "in the bowels of the airport," he says.
Hilariously, Virgin America's lounge is called the "Virgin Village." To get inside these lounges, however, one needs to be an airline employee with a very special employee badge.
"This is where you’re going to start your trip, and it’s a place for crew members to congregate," the airline employee explained to HOH. "Within those places, there is going to be a quiet room."
In these "quiet rooms" the lights are turned down low, there are no televisions, computers, or radios. The airlines discourage sleeping in these rooms or spending the night, but there are La-Z-Boy recliners ... and these employees have been on their feet for hours, so something supine could occur, right?
Who knows? We're chalking this one up to "what happens in the quiet room, stays in the quiet room."