I was travelling back from a relaxing break in Majorca and when I got to the airport and checked myself in I realised that my flight to London had been delayed. This wasn’t just a ’40 minute delay where I can go and grab a beer and chill out’ scenario, no, this was much worse. The flight was delayed for 6 hours, minimum! The problem was that I had already checked in. It wasn’t like I could simply go somewhere else and then check in closer to the new departure time.
Luckily I have had experiences of delays before (not quite 6 hours mind you) so I sort of know how to prepare for them. This is why I am writing this post – to help you guys in case you are ever delayed for this length of time.
These are my 6 top tips for surviving an airport delay.
I don’t think anything else has helped me as much as Netflix has! Really, there is everything you could ever want to watch on this thing. I’m assuming you all know what Netflix is or you have at least heard of it? Basically it is a streaming service where you get access to tons of TV shows, documentaries and movies for a small fee every month. It really is worth it. Because I can connect to the WiFi (you might need a VPN to access it however) in the airport I can use my laptop to stream films or a show. I passed those 6 hours fairly quickly with 3 movies!
#2 Grab A Book
Being confined in the one place with no way of leaving is a fantastic way in which to get through that book which has been sitting in your bag for ages.
I managed to get my way through a 350 page novel during a 2 and a half hour delay. I really like to sleep in planes as it passes the time much quicker so I don’t have the chance to read on long flights. However being stuck in the airport means that I can get through my book in relative peace and quiet even if it isn’t the most comfortable of surroundings.
#3 Explore The Airport
It might sound a bit boring – I mean how exciting can an airport actually be?! – but sometimes you find some features that take you by surprise.
The thing about most airports or the ones that I travel in anyway, is that they are massive. There is no way I could see everything if I am just waiting a short time before my flight boards. Take a stroll about and see what is out there – you might find a niche shop, a quiet bar or simply a corner of the airport that is different than the rest.
#4 Catch Up On Sleep
This is one of the main ways that I see people dealing with delays. Personally I prefer to sleep on the plane – I think I have mentioned this before – but I do know people that cope with long delays by simply shutting off.
Find a quiet part of the airport and get as comfortable as you can. Some do have special seats and areas for this type of thing especially if you are flying first class or business class. Just be careful that you don’t sleep through your flight announcements though!
#5 Find New Friends
This can be one of the more difficult things to do when you are dealing with an airport delay. People tend to keep to themselves or in groups in these situations.
However if you are by yourself then hit the nearest café/bar because you have no idea who you are going to meet. Striking up a conversation with a total stranger is a great way to pass the time. You will meet some of the most interesting people in the world and can find out so much about their lives, their plans and where they are going. Not everyone is very social but you will pass the time quickly by striking up a conversation.
#6 Prepare For A Delay
My last tip for surviving an airport delay is to prepare in advance. This is the most important one of the lot.
You have no idea if your flight is going to be delayed or how long it might be delayed for. Make sure you pack a book, you have a laptop or device that can handle Netflix or you have something in mind to get you through the ordeal. No-one wants to be delayed but you can make the whole experience a bit more bearable.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips and that they have been of use to you.
I also hope that you never have to put up with a 6 hour delay like I did but if you do then take this advice on onboard to survive in an airport for such a length of time.
Thanks for reading!