The airport is a place filled with potential drama: bittersweet farewells and emotional reunions. On the other hand, the familiar frustrations of airport routines and regulations offer plenty of material for comedic relief. It’s no wonder then, that screenwriters have used airports as the scene of some epic moments in TV history.
Here’s our list of six memorable airport scenes in famous TV shows:
Friends: Ross catches Rachel at Newark (2004)
The wildly popular 90s sitcom kept the audience in suspense until the very last episode wondering how Ross and Rachel’s epic will-they-won’t-they love story would end.
In the series finale, a dramatic scene takes place at Newark airport, where Ross manages to catch Rachel just in time before her flight to Paris. Confessing his undying love Ross asks Rachel to stay – but is, quite surprisingly, turned down. After a few twists and turns, the series does, however, end up with the two lovers happily reuniting.
Seinfeld: Airport episode at JFK and LaGuardia (1992)
Seinfeld, another classic comedy set in New York, uses airports as the scene for an entire episode. The Airport episode from 1992 makes fun of, for instance, the differences between airline passenger classes: while Jerry is seated in first-class, flirting to a super model, Elaine is stuck in coach, dealing with uncomfortable situations and unpleasant co-travelers. George and Kramer too spend the episode
running around JFK and LaGuardia, one ending up accidentally on a flight to an unknown destination, one escaping security officers by hiding amongst luggage.
How I Met Your Mother: Marshall’s romantic marching band moment (2009)
The main couple of the series, Lily and Marshall, decide to let go of their long-standing romantic travel traditions: Lily won’t bring back a souvenir six-pack for Marshall who, in turn, won’t come pick Lily up at the airport. In the end, both end up backing down on their word and in a romantic gesture, Marshall surprises Lily by not only showing up at the airport but also bringing an entire marching band with him.
Louie: Louie gets in trouble at security check (2010)
Louie, a somber comedy written, directed and starring stand-up comedian Louis C. K. has featured airport scenes in several of its episodes. The fifth episode of the first season is, however, almost entirely set at an airport.
It follows Louie and other passengers going through familiar airport routines depicting their reactions to the trials and tribulations of air travel with subtle humor. In a scene set at security check, for instance, Louis has to explain to the staff why he has an oversized bottle of lube in his carry-on.
Atlanta: Earn’s hard sell at Hartsfield-Jackson (2016)
Donald Glover’s Golden Globe winning surreal comedy opens with main character Earn working a dead-end job as a sales representative at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. While Earn and his young male colleague fail to attract customers from passers-by, they see an older female colleague making a killing right across the hall. To help his dire situation, Earn ends up managing his rapper cousin Paper Boi.
Modern Family: Mitch and Cameron get loopy at LAX (2017)
In the latest season of Modern Family Mitchell and Cameron prematurely take sleeping pills on a flight that ends up being canceled. As a result they have to make it through the airport to their new gate in a severely loopy state. Thankfully, the airport staff is there to help the couple.
Helsinki Airport has also inspired TV, movies and music.