A Round of Applause

At the airport yesterday, waiting patiently to pick up the family’s most recent traveler, we sat by the exit point from the terminals into the baggage claim. There’s always a bit of a crowd, of course, as people wait to greet family members. The crowd always has a round of applause for military men and women passing through.

Which is deserved. I know that after a year in one hellhole or another a little appreciation would be nice. On a few occasions when I’ve flown I’ve seen flight attendants randomly upgrading servicemen and women to first class when seats are open. All of this is great.

I bring it up because I noticed for the first time that the airport actually has a small kiosk at that wait point, staffed with a couple of people. In the hour I was there, the only thing they did was lead the applause. And how weird of a job would that be? What are the qualifications? Do they go looking for former cheerleaders (both were female, at least while I was there)? They were certainly more cheerful than the folks the TSA hires, though they seem to have a less complicated job and are less likely to have people yelling at them.

These folks are most likely just general representatives who are also there to offer directions and whatnot to out of towners. Not that I saw them do so at all. Checked with a friend who just the other day returned from Iraq and he didn’t get a similar reception at other airports. Seems to be a Hartsfield thing. Hey, free brownie points in front of the waiting crowd, if nothing else.

Just an observation.