All Airports Should Have A Recombobulation Area Like The One In Milwaukee

Today is a travel day for millions of Americans, so we thought we’d focus on the positive. Here’s a good idea that needs to catch on. Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport has a sign after their TSA check point that reads “Recombobulation Area.”

It’s just a little patch of carpet with a few chairs, but the sign makes people smile.

“See? You’re getting recombobulated right now,” Melissa Fullmore said Tuesday morning to another traveler who was putting on his belt.

Airport draws smiles with ‘recombobulation’ sign [JS Online]
(Photo: lark is already taken )


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  1. aheggs says:

    That’s genius.

  2. chipslave says:

    Nothing about Milwaukee makes me smile…

    • Canino says:

      @chipslave: Not even if you say it with an English accent?

    • nerdychaz says:

      @chipslave: Beer doesn’t make you smile? Ever been to water street? When they say water, they mean beer! Beer!

    • libbybee says:

      @chipslave: How much time have you spent here, really?

      • chipslave says:


        I do a fair amount of lurking…

        Milwaukee is only funny when Alice Cooper says it in Wayne’s World :)

        • libbybee says:

          @chipslave: Milwaukee gets such a bad rap (though I’m always amused by the Milwaukee moments in Wayne’s World)–really, it’s not a bad city at all. Gorgeous lakefront, awesome beer, and a ton of art/theatre/music, not to mention gorgeous architecture beyond the art museum.

    • Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

      I rather be in Milwaukee than Chicago. F the Cubs.

    • Caprica Six says:

      @chipslave: please Usinger Bratwurst from Milwaukee always makes me smile!

    • donsolo says:

      @chipslave: @chipslave: @xtc46: And every other airport I’ve been through recently. But none I’ve seen got a fun sign.

    • Anonymous says:


      Wow- harleys, beer, sausage, low cost of living, lake michigan, festivals every weekend in summer…you must be hard to please.

      I am surprised at the harsh tone so many comments have taken. I think it’s funny and way to smile when travel can be such a pain in the poo-er these days. There are a few Milwaukee TSA agents that also have a kind of schtick, rap, stand up routine to help remind people what they should be prepared for while standing in line. Again, it helps a little and people actually end up listening to the guys because they are at least trying to be friendly and funny.

      Not from there, just travel there quite a bit. Nuthin wrong with it – the sign or the city.

    • Jackasimov says:

      @chipslave: if cheese curd doesn’t make you smile then you must have no lips.

    • dwasifar says:

      @chipslave: Compared to O’Hare, General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee (which is where that sign is) is definitely worth smiling about. I’d much rather fly out of MKE than ORD, and I do it that way whenever I can, even though ORD is a few miles closer.

    • UniComp says:

      @chipslave: I’m from Milwaukee, you’re not too far off. There are some great things, good things, and terrible things. Overall, it’s better than… well, Detroit.

  3. JackAshley says:

    So the screening process discombobulates travelers, to the point where this is needed? I’m gonna have to look that up!

  4. leprechaunshawn says:

    Next time you think that nothing about Milwaukee makes you smile, remember that beer comes from here. And that makes a lot of people smile.

  5. downwithmonstercable says:

    From Urban Dictionary:

    1. put something back the way it was, or into proper working order
    2. To gather one’s thoughts or composure
    “After Jake broke his mom’s lamp, he spent many hours with a hot glue gun to recombobulate it. “

    I don’t know if I like that word in an airplane-related context.

  6. chipslave says:


    Ok… but just a little.

  7. dohtem says:

    But.. but.. half the fun is trying to put my belt back in while holding my shoes, phone, wallet, jacket and keys and trying to get out of the way of other passengers coming through the metal detectors.

    Really? Did these TSA dipshits really just figure out that we might need a place to and collect ourselves and put all our stuff back after the freedom search? It’s been 7 years!

    • XTC46 says:

      @dohtem: HNL (Airport in hawaii) has always had places immediately after TSA checkpoints to site and gather everything up. As far as I can remember, so did LAX, san francisco, and vegas.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      @dohtem: “But.. but.. half the fun is trying to put my belt back in while holding my shoes, phone, wallet, jacket and keys and trying to get out of the way of other passengers coming through the metal detectors.”

      You forgot to mention the interminably rude officers screaming at you to “keep it moving” before your crap even comes out of the X-Ray machine.

  8. ngth says:

    I wonder how much money was wasted on this sign.

  9. tande04 says:


    More airports should have something on the other end of security anymore. I’ve been to a few that don’t really have any seats at all. When you see an old man holding his shoes and belt looking for a place to get dressed again and a recombobulation sounds all the more apropos.

  10. Smailtronic says:

    Anchorage International has a similar reconstitution area:

  11. nerdychaz says:

    Is there a “recovery” area for those “randomly” selected for a more “thorough” search. They should have blank Milwaukee Police Department report forms as well so you can claim rape and still catch your flight.

  12. GuinevereRucker says:

    “Recombobulation” is what happens after you’ve been beamed down and all your particles must reconstitute themselves.

    “Scotty beamed me twice last night. It was wonderful.”

  13. snoop-blog says:

    I recombobulate all the time. And by recombobulate I mean do nothing.

  14. Paladin_11 says:

    Just don’t read sign out loud.

    “Security! That man said he was going to “bomb u late”, uh “recon bomb you later” er, something about a bomb!

    Where upon you’re whisked away and cavity searched before being locked up.

  15. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Feh, who needs to recombobulate? I love traveling with my shoes on the wrong feet, my pants down around my ankles, my cell-phone stuffed down the front of my trousers and my underwear on the outside of my pants.

  16. 44 in a Row says:

    Leinenkugel Summer Shandy makes me smile, but you can get that outside of Milwaukee these days.

  17. discounteggroll says:

    I had trouble understanding what this word meant until some wise commenters included the acronym “discombobulated” in their comments. Thanks for loosening the self esteem notch on my belt another eyelet yet again jackasses


  18. MrFrankenstein says:

    I suppose after having had moronic untrained thugs in pseudo paramilitary uniforms rifle through your stuff and examine you – and waste your time with their quite futile ‘security theatre’ – its a reverse variation on the Nazi approach of handing a bar of soap and a towel to people, to calm them ahead of gassing them.

  19. thesum says:

    I have a “Recombobulation” area next to my bed…
    for the ladies…


  20. Anonymous says:

    Euro airports have, or used to have, a “Meeting Place”. Everyone knew where it was or could find it. Had a blackboard and note slots. Great idea, all ports should have this.


  21. Kinneas says:

    Here’s a better idea. How about they realize that it’s all a pointless waste of time and money, and they’re essentially proving the terrorists win. 9/11 is a small price to pay vs. the huge amount of lost productivity, frustration and freedom.

    That being said, I would like to be recombobulated too.

  22. HarrisonPrometheus says:

    Good for Milwaukee. But by far the best feature of this airport is a used bookstore–I’ve never seen another airport where you can trade in your finished books and pick up something new for $4. Wonderful.

    • happysquid says:

      @HarrisonPrometheus: Renaissance Books for the win!

      I miss Half Price books, Renaissance Books, but most of all Harry W. Schwartz’s, the best book shop in the world. Milwaukee is a literary lover’s paradise.

  23. hypnotoad says:

    At Heathrow, the recombobulation area is a 5-acre duty free.

  24. GoVegan says:

    Do you think they charge by the hour?

  25. jfischer says:

    Mitchell International Airport?

    Do they still have the really GREAT used book store
    in the terminal?

    Bought so many books once, I had to go buy another
    bag for them, and check the bag!!!