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|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry Charles|
|Original air date||November 25, 1992|
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"The Airport" is the 52nd episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It is the 12th episode of the fourth season and aired on November 25, 1992.
Jerry and Elaine are flying home from St. Louis to New York after Jerry has performed a show and Elaine has visited her sister. When their flight to JFK Airport gets cancelled, Jerry and Elaine rebook on another flight to LaGuardia Airport, with one seat left in first class and one in coach. After a brief tense moment during which Jerry explains that he cannot fly coach since he's flown first class before while Elaine hasn't and so cannot miss it, Elaine gets cramped into coach and deals with rude, obnoxious people while Jerry parties in first class with a model, Tia Van Camp (Jennifer Campbell). During the trip, Elaine tries so desperately to sneak into first class, but gets caught and is asked to return to coach.
Due to their having to rebook and a rerouting of their flight, George and Kramer go between JFK and LaGuardia to pick them up. At JFK, George meets a prisoner being transported, and takes the last Time magazine available. The prisoner asks for it, but George refuses, saying that Jerry mentioned George and therefore has a "blurb" in it. The convict tells him to look at the cover, which shows the prisoner's face and the headline "Caught!" George still refuses to hand over the magazine, despite threats from the prisoner. Kramer sees a man who he believes is a former roommate of his, John Grossbard, who owes him $240 from twenty years ago. Kramer hatches a scheme to get the money back that involves him and George buying tickets for the man's flight and boarding it, Kramer receiving his money and then they get off the plane and return the tickets. George buys into the scheme, as he decides it will give him more frequent flier miles, and he will just get his money back; he asks Kramer to buy two tickets. Unfortunately, Kramer instead buys non-refundable tickets, claiming the woman who sold them convinced him it was a good deal, much to George's dismay.
The two board the plane and Kramer confronts Grossbard, asking him for the money; when Grossbard claims he does not know who Kramer is, Kramer attempts to reach into his pocket and grab his wallet, which creates a scene. During this, George is waiting for the bathroom, and when the door opens up, it is the prisoner, unshackled, inside. He grabs George, pulls him into the bathroom and locks the door, where he proceeds to beat him up. Kramer is arrested and apparently in "serious trouble", but he escapes the security guard's grasp and runs away.
When Jerry and Elaine land, the model says goodbye to Jerry, and claims she will call him, while she is being followed by paparazzi. Elaine's bag never arrives (This was due to an earlier scene where Elaine complains to the skycap that he does not deserve to be tipped. In revenge, he sends her luggage on a different flight to Honolulu), and Kramer comes sliding down the baggage chute, as his escape was successful. The three of them leave, while George is seen on a seat in the airplane, flying to an unknown location, letting out a scream of exasperation (directed at Kramer), as the episode ends.
There is an alternate ending where George meets up with Elaine and Jerry at the baggage claim, beaten up, saying in a daze, "You won't believe what happened to me."
- In the scene where Elaine is offered the kosher meal, the voice from across the aisle, claiming he had ordered it, is Larry David's; this is another of David's appearances in the show, even though he's not actually shown.
- Larry Charles, writer of the episode, makes an appearance coming out of an airplane bathroom before Elaine goes in. She has to hold her breath due to the smell.
- The episode is one of only a few episodes in the run of the series that does not include any scenes from any of the characters' apartments, or from the famous diner in which so many of Seinfeld's scenes were set.
- Deck McKenzie, Jerry Seinfeld's stand-in on the show, appears as the security guard in this episode.
- When George is confronted by the shackled prisoner in the airport gift shop, George says, "But you are, Blanche. You ARE in the shackles!" This is a reference to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, where Bette Davis delivers a similar line to a wheelchair-bound Joan Crawford.