Woman explains why you may hear an appeal for ‘friends of Bill W’ at the airport

News

In the wake of recent global news events, it is unsurprising that many of us can find travelling through airports a stressful experience.

No matter how much time you give yourself, it can still feel stressful when you see a long queue at the security check-in or mislay your passport for a split second.

But for one group of people, airports can be stressful for another reason – the availability of alcohol.

Thousands of passengers each day can be found in the airport bars, enjoying a drink before flying abroad on holiday.

For some, it’s an enjoyable way to start their trip abroad, but for others, it’s something they avoid after giving up booze.

If you’ve ever wondered what that person on the Airport tannoy was talking about when they referred to “Bill W”, be comforted by the fact that you are definitely not alone.

The code is a signal to fellow members of Alcoholic Anonymous – to come and support a fellow traveller who could do with a hand.

The term references the founder of the organisation, Bill Wilson and is used in social settings where someone is struggling.

Influencer Brittany Jade Szabo, who shares her sobriety journey on social media, went viral on TikTok after explaining the announcement.

She shared the advice to help out fellow sober travellers, who may struggle in the stressful setting.

Brittany wrote: “I don’t know about you but airports and aeroplanes used to involve lots of alcohol for me.

“So a little tip I learnt from my sponsor is if you’re struggling, ask the gate agent to page any friend of Bill W to your gate.”

The video racked up nearly two million views, with many impressed at the secret signal.

One viewer commented: “This is good to know, I’ll be travelling by myself soon for the first time.”

Another added: “This is really cute, I’d never heard of it.”

A third commented: “I’d miss my flight if it meant leaving someone alone that needed help not drinking. I’ll always come.”