How an Airport Coat Check Could Make My Trip Better, Too

I remember (from my Chicago days) the wonderful feeling of getting off a plane in a tropical destination, having departed just hours earlier from sub-zero temperatures. Except for one thing: It’s a drag to lug a winter coat in paradise. This week Harriet Baskas wrote a post on her Stuck at the Airport blog that caught my attention. A new service in JetBlue’s T5 at JFK offers a coat check kiosk—CoatChex–where you can check your coat and retrieve it days ($2 per) or weeks ($10 per) later.

I particularly love the ID concept for these kiosks: Just type in your phone number and initials, then pose for a photo with your coat before checking. No rumpled tickets or sticky keys to fish out from the bottom of your bag when you return.

We live in a sharing economy, now, though, so why not push this one step further and take a note from the playbook of FlightCar, which rents out your car when you’re gone. Because it’s also a drag to arrive in a cold city from a moderate climate (like the one I live in now) hauling a coat you use just a couple of times a year. Why not rent one of the coats in the kiosk? I’m only partly serious. But if someone can find a way to make money on this, make mine a size 8, Patagonia, any color available.


  1. What a clever idea to have a coat check at the airport!
    And then rent the coat to someone else! Leave a little change in your coat and the person who rents it can warm himself as well with a cup of coffee.

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