The holidays mean travel, and that often means getting to and from the airport. Despite the existence of public transportation, ride-hailing apps, traditional taxis and shuttle services, a lot of us are still schlepping loved ones between arrivals and departures.
But when it comes to offering rides, who makes the cut? Here’s a look at the people who deserve a ride, and those who can take a hike.
Parents: Sometimes. It depends on a number of things. Are they traveling alone? Did you see them recently, or is this a momentous reunion? Are they tech-savvy? Independent? Some parents wouldn’t mind getting themselves to their flight, while others might be deeply offended that their children could possibly betray them so. Suss out your parental figures’ vibe.
Children: Probably, but this comes down to age. Are they still under your roof and under your rules? Give them a ride, obviously. Is your child old enough to be trading bitcoin and waxing poetic about the flavor profile of a Japanese whiskey? Then you’re not required to act as a chauffeur. You’ve paid your dues
New romance: A huge yes. It’s a way of signifying that this person is special. If you’re still in the process of wooing a love interest, or in the thick of a honeymoon phase, take your significant other to the airport.
Old romance: Sometimes. Because couples all have unique relationship styles, this category can be approached in a number of ways that best fit the situation. Are you chaotically busy? Tasked with taking care of children at home? Up to your eyeballs in deadlines? Your long-term partner will probably understand that the realities of life come first, and it may be easier on everyone to get a ride from another source. One hard-and-fast rule: If you are in a renew-your-vows kind of phase, with a rekindled sense of love and adoration, make time for that airport pickup or drop-off.
Siblings: No. Consider this payback for that time your sibling locked you in that closet when you were a kid. Or that other time they locked you in a different closet.
Grandparents: Definitely. These are the people who slipped you a crisp $5 in your birthday card. They sneaked treats to you behind your parents’ backs. Respect your elders and give those silver foxes a ride.
Extended family: Depends. This relationship falls under the quid pro quo category. If your aunt once drove three hours to pick you up, do her a solid when she comes to town. Are we talking about your third cousin’s husband? Put down the keys.
In-laws: At least offer. Giving them a ride is the smart move. It never hurts to try to make a good impression on these people.
Best friend: Yes and no. Did your bestie fly in just to visit you? Then you should play the gracious host. But if they’ve come back to town to visit family and you’re just one of the stops on the agenda, you’re under no obligation.
The real secret of giving someone an airport ride is this: You’re not really doing them a favor, you’re doing yourself a favor. Once you make that pickup or drop-off, you receive the self-satisfaction that comes from being a good Samaritan.
Do the favor, and bask in the glow of doing good.