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Waiting for Delayed Flights

Almost nothing is as frustrating having an airline 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?

Exercise

If you have young kids or are traveling solo for business, one of the best ways to waste time is by walking the concourses. You can listen to a podcast while doing so, or window shop at the various stores. Getting your step count in isn’t too difficult 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.

Work

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 doesn’t have a flight scheduled to leave from it) and knock out some work. Almost all airports have free WiFi, which leaves no excuse to check in with the office. 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 on your favorite shows – plan ahead and download videos to your phone or tablet so you can watch them offline. Just plan ahead and bring your headphones or earbuds so you can get lost in your program without driving fellow travelers a bit crazy.

Waiting at the airport is also a great time to browse the bookstores and pick up a bestseller. Most of us don’t take the time to read for pleasure these days as we are too busy with work and family obligations. If you’re somewhat trapped at the airport, take advantage of leisure reading a fiction book and getting lost in a new adventure.

Eat

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 for personal growth and enjoyment.

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