We all dread those intercom announcements and alerts to our phones informing us that our flights have been delayed as we anticipate boarding for our final destination. If the delay is 10 to 30 minutes, it can be bearable as long as it doesn’t conflict with connections and other time-sensitive arrangements, but what about those dreaded delays that can last for hours? Whether short or long, delays can be a pain and happen to most of us, with the average number of delays being 18% in 2017-2019 before dropping down to 9% in 2020 when flights decreased substantially. What should you do in this instance? For starters, you can check on changing your flight, asking for meal vouchers, and reviewing the coverages of your travel protection which are always a great place to begin. Let’s look into other ways you can make the best of those delays while you await the boarding call from your gate.
You may be tempted to sleep, especially if it’s a red-eye, but this is a bad idea for multiple reasons. Not only can you oversleep and miss your new scheduled flight time, but you may also miss any updates regarding your flight time possibly moving up. The torture of being delayed is enough in itself so let’s not risk missing the flight altogether.
It’s best to stay up and stay busy with some of the options referenced below or anything else you find for occupying your time. Save your snooze to for the flight, so that you can safely crash onboard without having to think about being in the air rather than already being at your final destination.
Relax In An Airport Lounge
Airport Lounges are one of my favorite ways to pass time when waiting on a delayed flight. Although there are variations in lounge inclusions, one thing that you’re sure to enjoy at all is food, beverages, wi-fi, and comfortable seating. Some even offer services such as massages, manicures, and a pool to help you make the best of your delays.
The best ways to access these are through possible benefits from your credit card company, airline status and even paid memberships such as Priority Pass. You may also pay for a one-time day pass or request a pass from the airline due to your delayed flight.
Explore The Airport
You may not have time to explore airports when connections and boarding times are pretty tight, so why not take this opportunity to take a stroll through the airport and see what they have to offer. You can download the airport’s app or even go to their website to find out what all they have to offer.
I love trying out the various eateries to grab one last meal that’s a staple in the area before departing for flights, so this is an excellent time to try and restaurants, stop by Duty-Free and purchase last-minute souvenirs.
Enjoy The Attractions and Amenities
Although some airlines may be cutting back on their amenities, many airports are beginning to provide activities and entertainment to help travelers pass time, especially when experiencing long layovers and delayed flights. There are many great considerations to experience, such as Yoga Studios at DFW and SFO, the self-guided Art Exhibit at SEA, or even the Aquarium inside YVR.
These are just a few on the long list of attractions within North American Airports, but the list grows longer and even more jaw-dropping as you explore airports across the globe.
Cuddle Time With An Airport Pet
Did you know that you can find furry friends to cuddle with in various airports? Well yes you can! Airports have all sorts of therapy animals, from cats and dogs to even pigs! These pets are here to give much-needed snuggle time to travelers who are stressed, anxious or just needing a bit of love.
Every airport is different, with programs ranging from a seasonal offering or set daily blocks of time to an all-day availability at others.
Call A Loved One
I don’t know about you all, but I’m a grown woman whose mom still likes for me to check-in while traveling, so I spend this time to ensure she knows what’s going on because I’ll always be her baby. Lol
This is also an excellent time to connect with friends and family in general to catch up while you have the extra time to do so. I’m always on the go or working, so I like to take this spare time to make calls to check-in while I’m forced to slow down. Sharing travel stories and the crazy details of your delays can help distract you while also providing a way to vent.
Watch A Movie Or TV Series
What better time to take advantage of those streaming apps you’ve subscribed to by binge-watching shows, catching up on something you’ve recorded or even watching a movie OnDemand.
Just grab yourself a few snacks and huddle up next to an outlet or portable charger as you enjoy your Airport N Chill session.
Read A Book Or Magazine
Take a stretch from sitting down by walking over to the bookstore to read a book or magazine to pass time. Reading has become even more convenient these days by also having the option to download books on your phone or tablet to read.
These can range from free to a nominal fee, so feel free to kick back and read while awaiting your flight and conveniently finish it on the plane if you’d like to do so after boarding.
Create An Itinerary Or Plan Your Next Trip
Take advantage of this downtime by researching things to do and planning out activities to do on your trip. Not everyone likes to plan far in advance, so what better way to ensure you maximize your time considering the delayed arrival than to map out some ideas of things to do for when you arrive. Consider places to eat, excursions to book, nightlife festivities and even review what type of entertainment is going on at your resort and the destination. Already planned out your itinerary? You could also use this time to tweak things around as needed due to the late start.
This is also a great time to consider brainstorming on other places to travel to next while you have lots of inspiration around you. The Dream Without Limits Travel Planner comes in an electronic version and would definitely come in handy if you’re mapping out your travel goals and bucket list. If you’re delayed in an airport on your way back from a trip, then you can jot down notes in the planner or in your phone on Dos and Don’ts for your next journey or things you want to make sure you consider next time.
Go Through Emails and Organize Apps
Am I the only one that’s guilty of emails piling up in my personal inbox at times? Well this is a great time to go through those dreaded emails that you scroll past and actually delete or organize them in folders. You can also use this time to categorize your apps so that you can quickly locate the apps you utilize for various purposes.
I’ve found apps that I totally forgot about that could’ve come in handy if I remembered them as well as apps that are obsolete such as Gate Guru which was my old go-to that could’ve been deleted out of my phone. Declutter is a great feeling that can relieve stress and anxiety that you sometimes don’t realize even exists.