We’ve all flown through that dreaded airport that we hate while en route to another destination. Oftentimes it’s inevitable, so we suffer through it and move on. It’s not often that I’ve found myself pleased with the offerings of an airport transfer, but Brussels was filled with pleasant surprises (besides the instant availability of many delicious different types of chocolate, of course).

Here are three that I found particularly pleasant:

1. Bags for sale in security.


Have you ever reached the security line wishing you had a plastic bag on hand for your liquids? Maybe it was because you’d purchased a nip of liquor before coming in (that’s “a thing”, right?), or you just wish you could’ve avoided the stress of hunting a bag down while packing at home?

I fell in love with Brussels’ genius idea of selling little bags, vending-machine style, in their airports. Not only is it helpful for travelers, but the relative gross overpricing (one euro for two plastic bags is both reasonable for someone who needs it and also disgustingly marked up considering its value) is an excellent opportunity to give the airport an economy boost. I nearly bought a bag for the novelty of it. Who doesn’t get a burst of nostalgia after putting a coin in and turning the knob a few times around?

2. Coffee vending machines.

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While we’re on the topic of vending machines, I’d also like to mention that you can purchase coffee in them as well. And not just coffee — lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos are available with the drop of a coin (that’s right, because as many of us dollar-waving Americans may have forgotten, you can purchase up to two euros’ worth of delight using change). My only regret is not trying the stuff. Anyone know if it’s good?

3. Universal “women” symbols in reasonably fashionable clothing

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I have yet to travel anywhere where the symbol for “women” on restrooms is nearly as fashionable as the woman who graces the Brussels airport restroom signs. Rather than the 1950s style A-line skirt that makes women everywhere feel lost in history, this woman rocks a modern, mini-skirt ensemble with cool suspenders (or maybe those are just her arms…). Yeah, I went to a women’s college and I shouldn’t comment on this stuff. But this girl is stylin’!

What other crazy things have you noticed in airports while traveling?