How to Break Up With Someone at the Airport? Seriously?!?

In one of the stranger articles pertaining to travel which I have read in a long time, advice is given that if you are seeking to end a relationship with someone, consider doing it at the airport — and reasons are given as to why the airport is a potentially optimum place to do so.

How to Break Up With Someone at the Airport? Seriously?!?

Lisbon Airport

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The main reason why ending a relationship at an airport is supposedly ideal is because it provides a distraction — as opposed to, say, a nice quiet and private spot where the two of you can be alone to end it on a respectful note.

“The fun thing about airports is they check all the boxes”, according to this article written by Michael Y. Park of The Points Guy. “You can’t help but be clear when you’re competing with flight announcements as you explain that the spark is gone. And only the dimmest bulb would still be unsure where he stands after you hop on a flight to Tahiti while he, your former beau, is headed to the Pittsburgh Airport parking lot. As for being gentle, that’s mostly up to you, but what’s gentler than a face treated with serum from the de rigueur airport Kiehl’s?”


airport security checkpoint

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

One relationship “expert” advised not to end the relationship when you are passing through the scanner at the airport security checkpoint. “They’re going to hold up the line and start fighting with you, and everyone’s going to be mad at you. Don’t tell them as you’re boarding the plane together, because now you’ll have a four- or five-hour flight where you’re bickering with each other.”

You know, every time I pass through a scanner at an airport security checkpoint, I think to myself: Gee. How I so want to break up with someone in here. It is such an ideal place to do it. I would feel so…radiant. So you can imagine how disappointed I was to read that advice. Besides, the agent of the Transportation Security Administration who was operating the scanner would see right through me anyway.

Oh — and I have always wanted to travel with someone with whom I no longer want a relationship. What better place is there to end that relationship than at the entrance to the airplane during the boarding process — you know, to distract passengers from the usual window shade wars and armrest wars and overhead storage bin wars. Why not provide our own in-flight entertainment for hours — live and in person?!?

“If you make it to the baggage claim, finalize the relationship there,” as “That’s the last stop before you exit for public transportation or your car.”

I suppose that is when you have confirmed that your soon-to-be-ex really is…um…er…baggage?

So…security scanner = no; boarding process = no; but baggage claim = yes. Got it.

One other piece of advice given is to send off your no-longer-singnificant-other with a treat — such as a full spa and exercise package. Yeah. That is sure an expensive way to send what could be perceived as mixed signals.

My eyes are hurting from rolling so much.

Some of My Experiences

Honesty is the best policy for many situations — and ending a relationship with someone is no different, in my opinion.

Travel can usually result in distance; and distance can play a role in exacerbating a relationship due to limitations. For example, I was dating someone who decided to end the relationship via telephone while I was on a business trip in Hammond, Indiana — hardly a sought-after resort destination by any stretch of the imagination.

“Okay,” I responded.

“That’s it? Just okay?” she asked, bewildered.

I guess she was expecting me to be devastated from the news. “Yep. I wish you all the best.” I meant that, too. I had no hard feelings towards her.

Another relationship I had was when I was still living in Brooklyn; and she lived in New Jersey. I used to travel to her to see her. I thought things were going well — until she mysteriously ended the relationship with me without warning.

Years later, we met again and caught up with each other. She explained to me what happened — and without going into details, I was at first stunned by what she said really happened; but then it all made sense. She wound up marrying her childhood sweetheart.

“Are you happy with him?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said — and the genuine smile on her face confirmed it.

“Great! I am so happy for you!” I said. I meant it, too.

She was surprised. “Really?”

I explained to her that I did not want her to be with the wrong person; and I would have been that wrong person. Had she continued being with me, we might have had a nice relationship, sure — and if it became more serious but still did not feel right to either of us, what would be the point? Should we have gotten married and had children before ending up in an eventual divorce? Who in the world plans for — or even wants — that?!?

The commonality between these two experiences is that both of them were honest with me — and I respect that. Rejection can be difficult with which to deal; but not everyone is right for everyone — and whenever I ended a relationship with someone, I did it honestly. I have even benefited from some long-term platonic friendships as a result — but I certainly would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings…


Gate area Bahrain International Airport

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…which leads us back to the aforementioned article. If you are going to break off a relationship with someone, simply be honest — and please: treat the person with respect when doing so. Do not do it prior to that person departing for a long flight home to be miserable and dwell on it.

You do not need an airport to end a relationship — plane and simple.

All photographs ©2007, ©2015 and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “How to Break Up With Someone at the Airport? Seriously?!?”

  1. Christian says:

    Wow. I don’t think particularly well of TPG, but that really sets a new low. Maybe there will be a follow up piece on favorite staff places to be unfaithful to your spouse. Sheesh.

  2. Matthew says:

    Wow…didn’t think TPG would go this low.

    But good story Brian.

  3. Amy E. says:

    Perhaps the original article was meant, tongue-in-cheek. Regardless, ending a relationship sucks. No matter where it happens. Especially when you really love someone. But especially.

  4. Jeannine says:

    Entertaining, informative, and I caught your TSA pun. 😀

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