Airport baggage claims are very strange places. Industrial, drab, and rarely decorated, they are metal cauldrons of human emotion.
One the one hand, you have happy families reuniting with each other where shrieks, hugs, and the occasional “I’m going to briefly straddle you in public and disguise it as a hug” move are common practice. Then, on the other hand, you have weary travelers running on three hours of sleep who find themselves dealing with airline agents who are filing claims for luggage that has simply up and vanished. In few places do so much joy and so much despair exist beneath the same roof.
In the middle of the baggage claim, however, are the rest of us who haven’t yet received a hug, yet also haven’t received our bags. With one eye scanning the crowd for our welcoming party, and the other nervously watching the luggage belt, it’s as if hundreds of people are emotionally stuck in neutral.
Which is why we found it so entertaining that Brussels Airlines in a recent holiday stunt decided to take a few passengers out of neutral and instead put them into drive. Placing a present amidst the baggage and openly disguising it as a free gift, all that was required for someone to claim the prize was simply to reach down and examine the present.
This, however, is not a natural thing to do. With airport security loudspeakers constantly warning us of unaccompanied luggage, this is in some ways akin to a windowless van with a sign that says “free candy”. Nevertheless, a few lucky passengers decided to test their better judgement and pick up the package.
The result? Two free tickets to anywhere within Europe. A Merry Christmas indeed!