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Love is in the Air(port)

We are just days away from Valentine’s Day and for many it’s going to be a day full of all things mushy, romantic and cute – and whether you’re with someone or not, whether you’re into it or not – love will definitely be in the air. Some people boycott it with singles nights, some plan exuberant nights or weekends away, some may just have a cosy night in with dinner, whilst others may be away from their other halves completely. We all have different stories and plans for this day, from proposing marriage to the love of your life to proposing going for a drink with your best mate!

Many people also take ‘love being in the air’ to the most literal sense and, just for this day of amor, will fly home to their person, fly to their family and a staggering amount will surprise their partners with a romantic getaway abroad. Now, as we all probably know, airports are probably the most unromantic of places. They’re busy and crowded so you have no privacy, the lighting is bright and brash and not flattering at all, and although most airports have restaurants and eateries, they’re not going to be geared up for a dreamy date!

However, if you do see yourself in an airport this Valentine’s day, we’ve got some great tips on how to make it as romantic as possible.

Surprising / picking up your loved one from the airport

  • Make sure you know their itinerary and / or flight number  – This will keep you in the know about when to arrive, as well as letting you check if they’re going to be late or delayed. Sometimes this can be tricky if they don’t know you’re picking them up, as why would you need a flight number? If you don’t want to give the game away, casually ask what time they’re flying. You can then go all ‘Inspector Morse’ and log onto the live departures / arrivals section of the airports websites, and keep checking for updates, so you’re not too early or too late.
  • Make sure you know where you’re going – Many airports have various terminals depending on airlines or international / domestic flights. They can be hard to navigate, especially the bigger ones like Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted. Take a look at the airports websites; ensure you know how to get there, as well as where to go when you arrive. If you’re parking at the airport, also work out how long the shuttle or walk is, or where to go for meet and greet parking.
  • Meet them inside the airport, at the arrivals gate – So this may seem obvious, especially if they don’t know you’re picking them up, but definitely go in to meet them. Don’t sit outside in the pickup area and just text saying ‘surprise’ you’re here! No, the whole point is for them to walk out and see their lover, when they least expected it!
  • Use Meet & Greet Parking – So you definitely need to ditch the car and go in and meet them at the gate as we just said, but we also think using valet or meet and greet parking is, by far, the most romantic way to get your loved one from an airport. Not only is this the easiest way for you, it’s chic and stylish and really shows that you’ve thought this out for them. You get to easily drive up to the airport and not mess around parking and, when you have your partner in tow, effortlessly walk out of arrivals and your car will be right there, warm and ready to go. No bumbling through dark car parks, no long shuttle buses. Just a little touch of luxury, at very little cost! Meet and greet parking is available at nearly all UK airports now from Gatwick and Heathrow airport, to Birmingham and Edinburgh airports and more.
  • Bring a small gift of affection – Now for many women flowers would be wonderful, but not everyone likes flowers. Plus, you may be on your way out rather than going straight home from the airport. It doesn’t need to be a big expensive present, just a small token of love to show that you’re excited to see them. It could be their favourite coffee, a box of chocolates or sweets, a bottle of fizz or anything that you know they like!
  • Make a sign – So this might not be for everyone, but haven’t we all seen a Rom Com where lovers meet at an airport and they make signs?! It’s a very charming way to say ‘welcome home’.  It will also help them not miss you completely as, remember, they won’t be looking for or expecting you. Whether it’s adorned in pink and red giant hearts, has a mushy message or is simply their name, we think it’s a really romantic gesture that would make even the most serious person smile.

How to plan a surprise Valentine’s holiday

Many hopeless romantics plan surprise getaways, here’s a few tips to make it go smoothly at the airport.

  • Make the arrangements – From picking the destination and booking the flights / hotels to setting an itinerary, you’ll have to do it all. One stop travel sites like Expedia are good to get everything in the same place so you don’t have lots of separate bookings.
  • Make a cover story – People choose to do this is different ways. Some will say they’re going on a UK break away (so their partner packs themselves and has some clue that they’re going away), others will completely surprise them and have to do everything for them. Whatever your story, play it cool and try not to let it slip!
  • Packing for your partner – Even if they have packed to go somewhere ‘fake’, you’re going to need to make sure that they’re going to have everything they need whilst away; bikinis for sunshine, gloves for snow etc. Also try and do some homework beforehand and take note of all the cosmetics they use daily. Imagine if your man had put so much effort into making sure you had everything you needed because he took the time to investigate. Romantic indeed.
  • Make them wear a blindfold – Have you ever done, or had this done to you, when you’re getting or giving a surprise? Not only is it sexy, but it makes the whole experience so much more exciting and romantic! They’ll be solely relying on their senses and your voice and taking your hand as a lead.  Give it a try! If you really don’t want them to know they’re in an airport add ear plugs to this too. Otherwise, they’ll know exactly where they are as soon as they hear the airport sounds.
  • Getting to / parking the airport – OK so again we feel that the only way to do this easily is to book meet and greet parking, especially if your other half is in a blindfold! It’s perfect as you simply drop the car outside departures and walk in. If you had to park your car at the airport yourself and walk, or get a shuttle, the romance and their patience will definitely start to dwindle. It shows forward planning, and it’ll add a touch of class when you arrive back too; you’ll simply exit arrivals, jump into your car and drive away.
  • Book an airport lounge – If you’re going all out, why not do it in style and book a lounge as a big gesture of romance? As we said above, airports are not sexy!  The crowds, the lights, the stag parties at the bar; not the best setting when you’ve already gone to so much effort. Show them a little luxury and head to the airport lounge. They’ll be quieter, the lights won’t be as bright and you can relax and have a drink in a much smarter and romantic setting.
  • Think about the big reveal – If they have no clue and are blindfolded / ear plugged, you need to choose a good time to reveal where you are / or where you’re going. Unfortunately they can’t be blindfolded when checking in so it’s going to have to be at the departure entrance, or maybe a sign showing your destination inside, or maybe even at the check in counter as you hand them their passport! If they’re not blindfolded they will realise as you start driving into the airport, either way, keep the reveal in mind. It’s your pièce de résistance and their moment of surprise.

However you find yourself at an airport this Valentines, whether is surprising someone or being surprised yourself, we hope these tips have helped to make it as romantic as possible. We have meet and greet parking at nearly every airport throughout the UK. If you want to get a quote or book, simply go online to our website, or give us a call on 03 333 222 333.