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Airport Philosopher: Alain de Botton45:52

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The inner life of the 21st century airport. Philosopher Alain de Botton talks about air travel and the human soul. Plus, a check-in on the Yemen package scare.

London's Heathrow Airport, April 2010 (AP)
London's Heathrow Airport, April 2010 (AP)

Cargo bombs out of Yemen this weekend on cargo planes and passenger planes. And once again, every flier pauses for just a moment to think – what if?

It’s an instant we all feel at the airport, with or without bombs in the headlines. It's all mixed up with the race to the gate. The greetings and good-byes. The hugs and kisses.

In airports, we make transitions – in love and life and location. We put our lives in the hands of others.

Writer Alain de Botton has been watching the rituals, the rush, the life around them. He's seeing glimpses of mortality. 
-Tom Ashbrook

Alain de Botton, essayist and writer whose works include "The School of Life" and "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work." His new book is "A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary." You can read an excerpt.

Mary Jane Credeur, airline industry reporter for Bloomberg News. Her October 29 article is "Yemen Packages on UPS, FedEx Jets Show 'Massive' Air-Cargo Security Hole."

This program aired on November 1, 2010.

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