Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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- Why the Wai beats the handshake every time in the COVID era - December 1, 2022
Dusk at Hong Kong International Airport. And then darkness. I’m in the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, sipping on a nice, cold glass of Seppelt The Drives Chardonnay/Pinot Noir sparkling wine and looking out over the apron (the airport’s, not mine, where do you think I am, the kitchen?).
I’ve just done my good deed for the day, spotting a beautiful gift bag of Prada fragrances left on the lounge bar. I recalled (as one does) seeing a rather striking young woman ordering a drink there ten minutes earlier, and suggested to the very efficient lounge manager that it might belong to her. Indeed it did, a gift of two bottles of the latest Prada women’s fragrance for her sister back in Australia. My fellow Sydney-bound passenger is delighted, as is Puig, I’m sure, by a nice anecdotal tale of the popularity of its fragrance brands.
These are the lovely human cameos that make airports so compelling. What a wonderful cross-roads of humanity they are. In a troubled world, their innate multi-culturalism should give us all hope. I have urged Airports Council International (ACI) to declare a World Airport Day. What a big idea, to bring all these golden gateways together in a spirit of international unity. It’s something I plan to press further at The Trinity Forum in Bangkok where ACI is our partner.
But first I’ve got a major job to do at one of those airports, Sydney. In less than an hour (Stop Press: Make that two and a bit hours, as my flight has just been delayed due to technical issues. Sigh.) I’ll be taking off en route to the New South Wales gateway to report on the airport’s commercial revolution. And on that plane with me – and their generous purchaser – will be two bottles of Prada women’s fragrance. Viva duty free.
Footnote: Just as I was about to post this Blog, the same very nice lounge manager came over to me with a glass of Champagne and a message. “This is from Jo, that’s the lady’s name,” she said. “She’s ever so grateful and asked if she could buy you a drink to say thank you. I told her the drinks were complimentary but instead of the sparkling wine I could find you a glass of Champagne. So this is from Jo.”
Wow, how about that? I don’t feel so bad about my delayed flight after all.
Footnote 2: Hold that thought… my flight has just been delayed for another hour. Suddenly the airport lounge loses all its glamour, the flight all its excitement. You know the feeling, right? At this rate I will walk (or stumble) off the plane and head straight into my first meeting. But what the heck? It happens to us all. I will sleep all the way from Hong Kong to Sydney. Well, maybe there’s time for just one glass of good Aussie Shiraz….