Why Do Airports — Made for Abusive Foot Traffic and Wheeled Luggage — Have Carpeting?

Of course there's a reason.

In the travel world, a carpet is never simply a carpet. Those garish patterned carpets covering the floor of a ship? That's to disguise the inevitable vomit. Hideous casino carpet? Its dizzying effect is theorized to be a weird bit of social engineering designed to keep people gambling.

Then there's the airport. Sure, from check-in, you speed through the airport on a hard surface but, once you make it safely to your gate you'll usually find yourself on a carpeted floor. And there is, of course, a good reason for this. "This is," according to Mental Floss, "an attempt to make holding areas more relaxing by giving them a soft, cozy feeling, like you might find in your own living room."

Basically, the carpet is telling you to relax, you've made it to your gate on time and everything's going to be OK. And, most importantly from the airport's viewpoint, the Mental Floss article continues: "Happy, relaxed travelers spend seven percent more money on average on retail and 10 percent more on Duty Free items."

As for the passengers' POV: Some bemoan the "drag" effect of a carpeted gate area on their wheeled luggage and swift movement, but then there are others, such as the creator of Carpets for Airports who simply marvel at what they consider "the majesty and grandeur of airport carpeting."

So let's just go with that.

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