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The Buzz of Air Travel - From Departure Lounges to Airport Transfers

By Shaun Parker
If you let them, airports can give you an electric feeling that few other major buildings can. The airport is constantly on the move, serving a conveyor belt of holidaymakers, business people and those simply moving from A to B. Airport transfers mark the beginning of your flirtation with air travel, delivering you to the busy entrance, garnished with taxis, space wagons and cars - each spilling forth families, suited men and excited weekend breakers.

The structure of airport terminals may not change significantly, but the lifeblood is moving all the time. The airport is the skin and bones, and the passengers are the pumping blood - ceaselessly arriving, waiting, buying, eating, drinking. Airport transfers, luggage porters, baggage handlers, security details - all these contribute to the buzz of the airport.

A school or a hospital or a hotel - they have a liveliness about them, but nothing like that of an airport. Transfers between different terminals, each serving different continents - heading to Rio or LA or Toronto, to London, Glasgow or Edinburgh. All take the form of mini trains or people carrying conveyor belts - internal airport transfers have never been so slick.

Coffee fuelled, twitchy businessmen clutching bottles of perfume for their neglected wives, heavily laden Canadian backpackers eating the previous night's leftovers, nouveau riche pensioners treating themselves to the Spanish south - the whole patchwork of the human travelling quilt is sewn into the constantly shifting fabric of the airport. Transfers hurry along wide corridors of Singapore terminal 1, on their way to Bangkok to the north, or Jakarta to the south. Late arrivals in Amsterdam hurtle towards the soon-to-close flight to New York. The thrill of people going to places continues 24 hour a day.

Never resting, the airport is impossible to pin down. Its temporary residents finally settling in to their aluminium tubes, handed their glossy in-flight magazines before failing to heed the safety demonstration for the Nth time. Sated by shopping and expensive airport food, they sit waiting for take off, surging up into the blue or the grey or the black - waiting for the experience at the other end.

The red wine from flight 209 and black coffee from flight 803, the compact lasagne from Milan 222, the mini spring rolls from the Shanghai 406. The rich experience of air travel will take many hours to leave the traveller's system - and many more to adjust to the time difference. Jet lag is the come down from this heady world of plastic mini cutlery and little yoghurt pots - endless red wine refills and tiny bottles of whisky.

And what at the other end? More airport transfers to other destinations - or perhaps simply airport transfers to familiar homes and familiar beds. But first the process of exiting - held up by passport checks and luggage which fails to appear on the conveyor belt. But, bag or suitcase retrieved, its time to exchange final Euros or Dollars or Pounds, time to find your way through the throng to the exit, out into the cold chill of the stationary taxi rank. At last the earth is still - until the next time.

Shaun Parker is a travel writer with many years of experience in the tourist industry. Find out more about airport transfers at
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