Wayne Curtis sull’Atlantic ha provato ad indagare sul perché è (quasi) impossibile bere un drink decente negli aeroporti:
Why can’t you get a decent Manhattan before you ascend to 35,000 feet? As it turns out, there are substantial challenges in establishing a quality airport bar. For starters, the staff must obtain TSA and FAA clearances—a hurdle many of your favorite tattoo-sporting local bartenders might not be able to manage. “There are quite a few that don’t make it through for one reason or another,” says Doug Draper, the senior director of adult beverages and restaurant development at HMS Host, which oversees nearly 400 full-service bars at airports across North America.
On top of that, airports are never in the hip parts of town where the cool-kid bartenders live. And Draper notes that going through TSA security every day adds an unwelcome uncertainty. “Employees go through the same things as passengers,” he says. “They have to fight traffic and find parking and go through security.”
Another challenge: airport bars generally don’t have the luxury of carving out a niche and developing a regular customer base. Downtown, you might find a bar specializing in classic cocktails, another in tiki drinks, and another that serves almost exclusively American whiskey. Airport bars have a captive audience, but they can’t be selective about their clientele; many people simply sit down at the bar closest to their departing gate. “You don’t get to choose who you serve,” says Jacob Briars, the head of Bacardi’s global brand-ambassador program.