Airports have robot coffee now.
But first, consider that moment—you’ve experienced this—where your multiply delayed flight finally lands, maybe at the airport you expected and maybe not. Then you realize, taxiing across the tarmac, that it is in fact the middle of the night. So picture the terminal, the one in which you are alone. The Hermès shop is not open. The massage place is kneadless. The food court is no longer in session. Should airports also be shopping malls? I don’t know. Right now this one, which usually is, isn’t.
Let’s say you’re at San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3, across from the Yankee Pier fish place. There’s a signpost, up ahead. A glowing beacon in the night. Since early August, a touchscreen has offered lonely travelers a mug o’ mud—exuded by the sleek, cargo-container-sized structure looming next to it.