airport bar singer Martin Courtney
Credit: Shawn Brackbill

Martin Courtney has spent a lot of time in airport bars. His band, Real Estate, has toured across the country and the world, which translates to a lot of time waiting around airports and killing time in bars.

With a resume like that, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the single from his debut solo album Many Moons, which is out now on Domino, was an ode to his frequent haunt. His song “Airport Bar” is the perfect soundtrack for passing time when you wish you were anywhere else.

We asked Courtney to choose his five favorite airport bars for drinking during flight delays.

Buffalo Wild Wings at JFK

I often fly Delta, so I've spent a good amount of time at JFK's terminal 4. It's like a home away from home at this point. This bar just seems like the best option for killing some time before a flight with a beer while zoning out on some college basketball game you don't care about.

Perry's at SFO

This place just exudes class, from the dark wood paneling, to the black and white tile floor, to the bright green plastic hedges that flank the entrance off of SFO's terminal 1. Enjoy a club sandwich and a Tom Collins while you watch a passed out guy in a suit get carted off to the airport drunk tank on a stretcher.

Fairmont Hotel Jetside Bar at Vancouver Airport

This is the bar inside the Fairmont Hotel, which is a surprisingly nice hotel located inside the Vancouver airport. You can sit and listen to live smooth jazz and watch the planes take off and land through huge floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s a strong Lost In Translation vibe about this one.

Rock & Brews at LAX

Possibly the best airport bar in America if you're into watching a live version of Squeeze doing "Tainted" and other super random versions of classic hits on their flat screens, while drinking a Coors light or Jameson on the rocks, or both, while on a layover on your way to Australia or something.

TGI Fridays at Detroit Airport

When it's 11:30 p.m. on a Monday and you're alone and on a layover on your way home from Milwaukee and there's pea soup-fog at La Guardia and your flight's canceled, TGI Fridays is the best place to drink your sorrows away while you frantically Priceline a disgusting $60 hotel room a half mile away for you to sleep in for four hours before your new flight takes off at 6 a.m. the next morning. The bleakest of the bleak.