HOW TO WASTE TIME FOR A FLIGHT
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FLIGHT IS LATE - YOU GET INTO SHENANIGANS
TL:DR: Get to the United Club. Grab a plate of free cookies to pair with your free champagne and the locate the ideal seat by the window by away from neighbors who may want to talk to you. Plug in your devices, get out a book and sip your drink till your flight arrives.
The time has come for you to take a trip. You arrive at the airport, make it through security, and then you hear the dreaded 'ding' of an unexpected text message.
It's from the airlines. Your flight has been delayed.
WHHHHYYYY?!?! You cry as you fall to your knees with fists in the air. Don't do this. People will stare awkwardly, security will come over to check you out, and not a good way.
Having a delayed flight is no longer a 'once in a blue moon' occurrence, but it doesn't have to be all bad. You've probably been in this situation before. Here are a few ways to entertain yourself as you wait for your flight, or layover, or if you're living in an airport.
Before we jump into the fun you can have, let's chat about the 'free' WiFi. Nothing is ever free so be wary of open, unlocked networks. They are unsecured. Meaning someone could be watching your activity as your browse the Internet, waiting for you to check your bank account, type in the password and boom, hacked.
If you need to use the WiFi, check the security levels, login credentials, etc. before you join. Never login to a site that contains your personal information. It might be best to turn off your WiFi and just use data on your phone; this is a good idea in general when traveling because networks are never going to be secured.
If you have a United Club pass, or other airline pass, consider using it during the delay if you have 3+ hours to waste. If the wait time is less than this, find things around the airpot; like the options below. If you don’t have a club pass, generally you can purchase a day-pass.
Fancy life in the Club includes free drinks and alcoholic drinks (sometimes but almost always), free food like cookies or a hummus plate, comfy chairs with available plug-in charging stations, and really nice, clean bathrooms. It’s also a safe place to nap.
So (TL:DR) get into the Club. Grab a plate of free cookies to pair with your free champagne and the locate the ideal seat by the window by away from neighbors who may want to talk to you. Plug in your devices, get out a book and sip your drink till your flight arrives.
This seems like an odd activity but take advantage of the open space. Walk-around the airport while you can still move about the cabin. You're about to be on a flight were you literally are restricted from walking around. Get those steps in now and walk from one end of the airport to the other. On the way, check out the stores, eateries, and people as you stroll.
Some airports now offer yoga areas, meditation rooms, etc. for passengers how have extra time at the airport so take advantage of the freebies. Now-a-days, airports will have a local display of artwork made by children, a history exhibit, a live band or performance. Find the special attractions on your walk.
With a friend? Take a walk and play the alphabet game. Meaning you have to find something that starts with 'A', then buddy has to find something that starts with 'B', then you again with the 'C' and so on. While kind of a lame game, it distracts you from how much time you are trying to waste.
Buying a trinket may help you feel better. Like, here's a little something special just for you since you're having a bad day.
Souvenirs for You: Get the tiny bottles of alcohol, perfumes, duty free whatever now that you are through security and stash them up. Buy yourself a new shirt. Buy yourself a candy bar. Treat yourself!
Massage: Best. Massage. Ever. and it's inexpensive! I too was a skeptic at first. A massage, in an airport; the two just didn't add up. But my friend and I had time to waste so why not. $15 for 30-minutes was a good deal. Well my friends, it was so enjoyable that I paid for another 30-minutes. If you're never had a massage, ask for a Swedish deep tissue if you're really tense. But avoid a head massage cause the oils will make your hair greasy-looking and then your neighbor on the flight will think you don't shower.
Do you like to read? Wonder through the book store and see what's on display. Shop around and find a new book. See what's popular or trending right now and then download it to your kindle or buy a hard cover. If you're going somewhere and staying in an AirBnB, a fun thing to do is leave the book for the next person.
Souvenirs for Others: forgot to get your nephew something? Pick something up at the airport. They will never know.
If you're hungry, you can now have anything you'd like in the airport cafeteria. Instead of hitting up a fast food chain, look for a sit down location and take in the scene. You have the time after all.
On one delayed flight, I made friends with another solo traveler and asked if they wanted to get a meal with me. We found a restaurant and got to know each other over bar food and lots of drinks. It was a perfect distraction while waiting for the airplane to arrive and I made a new friend. Win win. Truth Moment: After you're full of greasy food and have a good buzz, you can get on a plane and sleep it off.
CHEERS (you knew this was coming)
Drink. Sip. Hooray. Have a drink and make friends at the bar. Best way to meet friends is to have a common interest. You can bond over complaints of another delayed flight.
TIP: If you get drunk, you can be rejected from boarding the plane. Then you'll really be delayed, so drink responsibly.
Hope this helps get you through your wait for the flight. I'm sorry your flight is late. There's nothing I can do, but I share your pain. Give the suggestions a try to avoid your boredom and if you have more to add, drop me a comment in the Contact box at the bottom of the page. Safe and happy travels my friends.