Recently, on our way home from Bermuda our connecting flight in Philadelphia was delayed. The layover was originally almost three hours long and it was extended by another two. I know for some people, five hours in an airport would be absolute torture. And if you’re one of those people that sits at the gate the entire time I can see why it would be torturous.
Airports are fun! Or at least they can be if you know what to do.
First, don’t panic. If you’re travelling for pleasure and aren’t in danger of missing a possible connection, just relax! If you’re travelling for business and you aren’t in danger of missing a meeting, just relax! Especially since you can most likely expense everything you’re about to buy too.
If you are in danger of missing a connection or meeting due to the delay, still don’t panic. These things happen every day and though it can be really frustrating, the most important thing to remember is to breathe through it.
When purchasing flights be sure to enter your cell number as your ‘day of flight’ contact number, this is how the airline will reach you if there’s a flight delay. So be sure to have your phone turned ON when you’re in the airport. Also, check the boards! They are everywhere and are updated constantly so be sure to check regularly.
Ok, so how does one have fun in an airport? Well it really helps if you happen to be in a large, international airport but either way with a bit of planning you can enjoy your time. Here’s a list of the World’s 100 best airports, Canada’s best airports and the best airports in the US.
I always pack a few things in my carryon to ensure I’m comfortable no matter what.
-a lightweight sweater, usually cashmere because it’s thin yet keeps me warm at the airport and on the plane.
-a lightweight scarf for extra warmth and comfort (I get cold easily and airports are notoriously over air-airconditioned). Plus, it doubles as a small pillow, blanket or can cover your eyes if you want to catch some Zzz’s.
-snacks! I always bring food with me when I travel for two reasons: airport food is expensive and healthy choices are not always available. I usually bring granola bars and fruit and my refillable water bottle (be sure to empty it before security).
-entertainment! For me this means books and maybe some internet surfing (most airports have free wi-fi) but many people travel with iPads to watch shows and movies. Don’t forget your earphones!
I would seek out a great restaurant and enjoy a nice, relaxed meal which is not something you can do often in an airport. Make friends with people sitting next to you, enjoying a nice conversation can make time fly. If your airport has a wine bar enjoy a flight tasting, sit back and relax. Airports often make for great people watching as well.You can also make use of lounges if your airline has one at that particular airport, you may have to pay a fee but why not ask to go in for free? A smile goes a long way and most airlines do their best to accommodate passengers.
Finally, make yourself comfortable and try to enjoy yourself. Remember that travelling can be really fun, even with delays. Just try and make the best of it and be kind to those around you.