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Finding love online at an airport near you

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PHOENIX -

Finding love online -- there's nothing unusual about it, but what if the dating site takes you to an airport terminal, the taxi stand outside Sky Harbor Airport for example, or a hotel a few miles away.

It's a new concept that takes an old tradition to an airport near you.

Departures, arrivals, delays and hookups -- airports are quickly becoming the hottest singles spot worldwide.

International flings, romance in Rio, hanky panky in Houston -- you name it.

"I think it would be good for a single guy, but me being married, no," said a traveler.

Another traveler stated, "Meeting a stranger for a couple of hours..it's crazy."

Oh yeah, I love to travel," said Mark, who uses MeetAtTheAirport.com.  "I went to Can Cun last week, got a bad sunburn."

Mark is a 55-year-old valley resident, a divorcee who works part time for an airline.

A few months ago, he joined MeetAtTheAirport.com in hopes of finding a love match during his frequent flights.

"There's a way to actually say what your intensions are of being on..I just want to talk, I want to spend time, I want to find a travel friend, that's what I put on," he said.

Steve Pasternack, the CEO and creator of MeetAtTheAirport.com is based in Miami.  He says the idea came to him about a year ago while stuck on a layover.

"You've got people from everywhere, every type of walk of life, nationality, race, religion, it's a really interesting mix..just think about it, you go through an airport with people from everywhere in the world and you now have the opportunity to meet these people."

The concept is rather simple. Log on, register and connect with people at the same airport or one you're flying to.

"You can make a friend, a business connection -- you're going on a trip to a foreign country, you have a tour guide that you make friends with -- it can be a romantic connection.  It's a lot of possibilities," explained Pasternack.

A romantic rendezvous at the airport with a total stranger may sound exciting, but it could leave you lonely.  Relationship experts we spoke to say these types of meetings don't always have a happy ending.

"I think it's without question about sex," said Dr. Brian Case, a sex addiction therapist.

Case, who is with Psychological Counseling Services out of Scottsdale, isn't convinced the site is all that innocent and worries at what he sees between the lines.  Does this type of service fuel sex addictions?

"Well, for one it makes it much more accessible, more available and even anonymous.  My guess is a lot of people are not using their real name when they sign up for these kind of sites, but what it does..it takes something like sex, separates it from intimacy and connection," explained Case.

"It's what people make of it.  It's what they are looking for if people are looking for sex no matter what happens. Yeah, they are going to find sex if they are looking for a long term relationship than that possibility is there too," said Pasternack.

According to Pasternack, 60,000 people have joined MeetAtTheAirport.com since it's launch. He doesn't deny why some of them are members, but also points out how safe a liaison at the airport can be considering all the security.

"It could be the start of a hookup I guess -- you know if someone is going to Boston and then the other person is going to Charlotte.  I'm not sure what kind of hookup you're going to have in 15 minutes," he said.

As for Mark, he hasn't met anyone yet. He's still searching for that travel partner, logging on, looking for his rendezvous.

Online: meetattheairport.com

 

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