Five Reasons Why It’s Great To Break-up At The Airport

For me, the most perfect airport breakup was the memorable departure scene in the film Casablanca, between Humphrey Bogart as Rick, the cynical owner of Rick’s Bar and his former lover, Ingrid Bergman, as Ilsa, the conflicted wife of Victor Laszlo, a notorious freedom fighter on the run from the Nazis in World War II.

airport break up

This break up was unexpected, classy, heartfelt and believable. As Bogie in a few deft lines expressed his love for Ilsa, but also persuasively explained why she must get on that plane without him. And never see him again.

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Five Reasons Why It’s Great To Break-up At The Airport

1. It is a natural break

Your lover, soon to be your former partner, is about to board a plane, returning to their home, university or is going on a social or business trip. It is a natural break in the relationship. Also, one of the best times to drop the breakup bomb. Because:

2. It is public

Usually, the airport is filled with hundreds of people of all sizes, ages, and shapes.  In such an open space, it is unlikely that your lover/friend will have a large and screaming meltdown in front of hundreds of strangers.

Dating Expert, Bonny Albo has written that like in real estate, one of the key elements of a successful break-up is location, location, and location.  And that most of’s Guide to Dating readers” also share this view that airports provide a superior break up venue.

At least your soon to be ex-lover or ex-significant other,  will think twice or three times before making a scene. And if there is a big scene, there are all kinds of security to protect oneself,  in case things threaten to get physical.

3. It is time sensitive

You have been thinking about how to broach the subject of breaking off this relationship for a quite a while now. You gingerly introduce the subject on the ride to the airport.

You arrive at the airport. The plane is to leave in about 90 minutes.

Between the long check-in line and then clearing security, there is not much time for long farewells. That is the time to break off the relationship. No time for second thoughts-long heart-to-heart discussions- recriminations or reconciliation. Other essential and practical matters intercede so that your lover/friend did not miss the flight. They occupy the person’s mind and provide you with a quick exit and clean exit.

4. It is swift and clean

My father, a surgeon, always used to advise that when making your first incision, it should be quick, clean and decisive.

As in relationship break-ups, the first cut should be best the best cut. No dilly-dallying around. Break off- quickly, decisively and cleanly.

5. It is final

When leaving the airport, never, ever, look back. The break is supposed to be final. It is final. No tears or regrets. Airplane departure is all about travel, moving on, new beginnings. And hope.

This is a perfect time and perfect place to move on and start afresh.

airport break up

In Casablanca, one door closed on Rick, with the final departure of Ilsa, but another door opened, as Bogie (Rick) and Claude Rains (local Captain Louis Renault) walk off into the distance together, as best of friends, “Louis, this could become the start of a beautiful relationship.”

An airport breaks up could be viewed as somewhat counter-intuitively, as a positive experience.

If you are the one who has been left at the departure gate- instead of crying in one’s beer, look around at the people in the departure gate or in the airplane itself. You may find your soul mate in the craziest of places. And a new beginning to a beautiful friendship.

UPDATED March 22, 2019 

Mitch Wolfe

Mitch is a writer, author and cultural commentator who is both a hopeless and hopeful romantic. He loves to travel and comment humorously on his misadventures.

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