How To Take Full Advantage Of Airport Bars

I'm a bit of a nervous flyer, so I always get to the airport early to sip on some courage at the bar. It helps me keep calm and, well, it's hard to pass up a good Bloody Mary. Over the years, I've learned a few tips to ensure the airport bar is always a good experience.

Photo: nchenga

Go Ahead and Get a Double

Drinks are expensive at airport bars. They know you have no other option for alcohol, so they charge a few extra bucks for every beer, cocktail, or glass of wine. That's why you have to go for the deals whenever you can.

Usually, when you order a cocktail, the bartender will ask you if you'd like to "make it a double". That means you'll get an extra shot of liquor in there for an extra few dollars. If you were planning on having another drink, just get the double instead. When drinks already cost $20 each, the double will save you money in the long run. Also, take-off will be a lot more fun.

Tell the Bartender Where You're Headed

If you strike up a conversation, let them know what your destination is. It makes for pleasant small talk, sure, but it can also help them find you if you forget something at the bar. If you leave your bag, a wallet, or just a pair of sunglasses, they can narrow down what gate you'll be at based on your departure info.

Drink Water Along With Your Alcoholic Beverages

Flying dehydrates you — a lot. Alcohol does a pretty good job of that too because it's a diuretic (it makes you pee). The old rule of "one glass of water for every drink" is imperative when it comes to pre-flight cocktails.

Why? Because staying hydrated will keep you from being tired, help you avoid getting sick, and it will ensure you can take a dump while you're away from home. You might even be able to ask for a to-go cup of water or club soda. Drink some water on the plane too.

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Ask for Your Check as Soon as You're Done Ordering

I lose track of time in bars, so I try to sit at one that's close to my gate; just in case there's some sort of announcement about the flight boarding, being delayed, or changing gates. Worst case scenario, I knock back my drink, grab my bags, then hustle over to find out what's going on. But I can only do that if I've paid for my drinks. That's why I close my tab as soon as I've ordered my last drink. I'm always ready to roll out.

Pay With a Card

Cash is king (especially for tips), but sometimes it's good to leave a paper trail. Using a card to pay for your bar tab is another way the bartender can find you if you accidentally leave something at the bar. They can check their receipts, have someone look for the flight you're on, then send your stuff over to your gate.


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