Airport Thoughts

Julie Ballantyne Brown
4 min readJun 11, 2023

People watching and anticipation at its best.

Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash

I went to the airport today. I wasn’t going anywhere, didn’t have a flight, wasn’t meeting anyone, or picking anyone up. I just wanted to be at the airport.

My home airport, Detroit Metro (DTW), has a Destination Pass program. You have to apply the day before you want to go and, if approved, you can pick up your pass, go through TSA, and explore the airport for as long as you want that day. This is the first time since 9/11 that people can enter the terminals without a boarding pass. I remember when anyone could go through the terminals, but that was back in the days before we really worried about things like box cutters and shoe bombs. It’s nice to have this available again.

I used this program last fall when it was brand new and Bonus Daughter was flying back home. I met her there for dinner before her flight to say goodbye, and we had a great time. I was going to use it again over the winter and spring, but I ended up actually flying in January and March, so I got my fixes in. It’s been awhile, though, more than two months.

I know it seems weird, but I’ve been in love with airports and travel since my first airplane ride in 8th grade. Every time I get to fly, the anticipation and excitement build until it feels like I almost can’t stand it. I’m kind of going through it right now with a trip to Seattle scheduled in a few weeks. Being in an airport makes me happy.

So, yesterday, I was in a funk. There was a lot of my mind and I wanted to lift my spirits, but couldn’t seem to shake it. That’s when I thought about the airport. Travel is an absolute love of mine and being in close proximity to all of the possible destinations sounded like a great idea. I went online, applied for the pass, and was accepted for today.

The fountain in the Delta terminal at DTW. Author’s photo.

Being in an airport means that you’re going somewhere, hopefully a place that’s exciting and different. It also means that you’ll be getting to that place sooner than you would if you were driving. I know some people really like road trips, and I get it, but I find driving long distances exhausting. You have to pay attention to the road, not to…



Julie Ballantyne Brown

Future London resident. Follow Julie on Twitter: @BrownBallantyne or on FB and Instagram: @JulieBallantyneBrown