Forget shoe shine benches — now there’s airport karaoke!

When I’m waiting for a flight, I like to dive into a book or pop open my laptop and try to forget my surroundings. Other travelers tend to annoy me, and I have a better time in transit if I can just ignore everyone else. So I’ll be avoiding Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston from now on.

The Texas airport has recently set up karaoke booths for travelers inside the terminals. Airport assistant manager Caroline Schneider says that they hope singing will help travelers relieve some stress and anxiety. The singers will be awarded small prizes.

They get points for creativity, but I just don’t think karaoke belongs in an airport. Travelers who are already edgy are not going to be the ones stepping up to the mic, and will probably only be further aggravated if their gate is next to the group of tone deaf teenagers stumbling through the words to “Love Potion #9.”

I love karaoke, really, but I think it belongs in a bar — one where the drinks aren’t $8 apiece. I suspect that this new airport karaoke will bother more folks than it will entertain, but maybe I’m just being a typical travel grouch. What do you think? Cute idea, or good intentions gone very, very wrong?