Airports during the holidays are crowded places full of unhappy, stranded people – - but if you’re looking to pick someone up, they’re ideal. People are alone and bored, with no where to go and nothing to do but wait for their flight to take off. This means they’re in general much more receptive to being hit on than if you were catching them in everyday life.

Additionally, because an airport terminal is a sort of purgatory where real world rules don’t apply, you can get away with all sorts of lines and moves that would seem too strong in the real world. Whatever: you’re bored, stranded, and never going to see these people again.

Might as well give it a shot, right? Here are some strategies.

It’s an Airport, Not a Slumber Party
Save your sweatpants and Juicy Track Suits for when you’re lounging on your parents’ couch, and try to look nice at the airport. (Nice doesn’t mean uncomfortable! There is a happy medium between “Dressed like Victoria Beckham” and “pajamas.”) Also, don’t carry around a pillow. There is nothing sexy about someone carrying around a pillow.

Ye Olde “Will You Watch My Stuff” Trick
If you see someone cute, but have no idea how to initiate a conversation, try this fail-proof airport strategy: approach them and ask them to watch your stuff while you run and get coffee. If they say yes, (they’ll say yes.), offer to bring them something back as a thank you. Even if they turn it down your offer, the ice will be broken. When you come back, you can sit near them and strike up a conversation — or offer to watch their stuff if they need to make a coffee or bathroom run themselves.

Swap Magazines/Newspapers
Sit down next to someone you’re interested in, pull out a newspaper or magazine, and read it. When you’re done, offer it to the person next to you: “I’m done with this, do you want to read?” If they accept, you can strike up a conversation by talking about or recommending specific articles.

Challenge Someone to a Game
Go to one of the ubiquitous newsstands and buy a cheap deck of cards or a travel game of checkers, then find someone sitting alone and staring listlessly at the departures board. “Hey, I know this is random, but I’m so bored. Wanna play ‘Go Fish?’

Head to the Bookstore
The bookstore is a totally easy place to pick someone up in an airport: you’re bored and looking for reading material, so chances are someone else is, too. If you see someone you’re interested in, ask them for a recommendation, or say something about the book they’re looking at. (It can be as simple as “I heard that book’s amazing.”) Book-lovers love other book lovers, and you’ll already have something in common.

Related: 7 Bookstore Pick-Up Strategies

Head to the Airport Bar
Where do all the lonely, bored single travelers go when their flight is delayed in a crowded airport on Christmas Eve? Why, the airport bar, of course, where everyone is drunk, everyone is frustrated, and everyone is flirting. The fact that no one will ever see one another again leads to lowered inhibitions, so might as well pass the time by hitting on someone. Offer to buy a stranger a shot, or challenge them to a rousing game of “I Spy,” “Would You Rather,” or even “Hangman” written on a bar napkin. You could even suggest an airport pub crawl — chances are, there are at least two other bars in the terminal.

Go to the Techie Watering Hole
Obsessed with your laptop/iPad/blackberry? You’ll find like-minded people crowded around charging stations, or desperately peering behind rows of chairs in search of an outlet. Your icebreaker technique here is simple: ask to borrow a charger, or share an outlet. Then plop down next to them, and when it feels natural, strike up a conversation. If you’re at a loss for something to say, you can resort to the coffee line: “Hey, I’m gonna grab a cup of coffee, can I get you one?” If you’re shy, this is a pretty safe pick-up line: it doesn’t necessarily scream “I’m hitting on you!”, as it could just be an example of stranded traveler camaraderie.

Invite Someone to Make a Video With You
Again, the main key is to take advantage of everyone else’s boredom. Pull this video up on your phone, and ask an adventurous-looking person if they want to help you film something similar.

Use The Ticket Agent as a Wing Man
According to an Esquire Magazine article published in 2020, Neel Shah interviews a friend who was once able to convince a ticket agent to give him a seat next to a hot girl.

“I was headed to London, and there was an absolutely stunning girl standing in the check-in line,” he says. “Finally I get to the counter, and the agent goes, ‘Window or aisle?’ Half kidding, I just smile and motion to the girl and tell him I’ll sit in the overhead bin so long as it’s near her. He glances down at his computer screen, punches a few keys, and prints my pass: Seat 18E. When I ended up getting on the plane an hour later, guess who’s in 18F?”

How’s that for some Christmas cheer?

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