Almost nothing is as frustrating than having a flight delayed. Not only have you planned ahead to arrive at the airport early for check-in, security, and hopeful on-time boarding, but with a delay, all your future plans (connecting flights, events, etc.) get pushed back, adding stress to an already stressful situation. So how do you fill the time without staring at the clock the entire delay?
If you have young kids or are traveling solo for business, one of the best ways to use your time wisely is by walking the concourses. You can listen to a podcast while doing so, or window shop at the various stores. Getting your daily step count in isn’t too difficult either if you are at a large airport. Think of it as multitasking! If you’re with your family, you can make a game of walking around, playing “I Spy” for example.
These days, almost all business travelers have their laptop, phone, and important work along for their journey. If this is you, and you are delayed, find a quiet corner (perhaps a nearby gate that is empty) and knock out some work. Almost all airports have free WiFi, which also leaves no excuse to check in with the office or your clients. You can also take advantage of charging stations throughout airports to keep your laptop and devices juiced up.
Watch or Read
Zone out to a movie or binge watch your favorite shows – plan ahead and download videos to your phone or tablet so you can watch them offline. You should also bring your headphones or earbuds so you can get lost in your program without disturbing your fellow travelers.
Waiting at the airport is also a great time to browse the bookstores and pick up a bestseller. If you’re somewhat trapped at the airport, take advantage of leisure reading a fiction book and getting lost in a new adventure. Many airport bookstores also offer book exchange programs throughout the country at a number of airports. So, if you are a frequent traveler, it’s a great way to read a book and be sustainable.
Airports offer a lot of dining options these days, and having a delay provides the opportunity to have a decent meal. Just be cautious in your choices – make sure the restaurant isn’t too far away from your gate so you can hear announcements or updates about your flight. Also, think about what your stomach can handle – are you waiting to go on a long international flight? Make good choices about your food – go relatively light so you aren’t dealing with any possible future repercussions.
Airport delays are never fun, but with some forethought and positive planning, the time can be well-spent on personal growth and enjoyment.