During my last flight delay, I did some people-watching. I felt bad for folks who were eating greasy airport food, pacing or yelling acrimoniously about the inconvenience to someone on the other end of a cellphone, or worse yet, screaming at the airport staff. It got me thinking about more productive ways to use the time.
Remember, you’re not going anywhere. So if the flight won’t move, your attitude might as well. Here’s what I came up with. See if any of them work for you.
- Read. Once I gave myself permission to read rather than work, my perspective changed. Instead of focusing on my plans being thrown out of whack and finding a power outlet and Wi-Fi, I relished the indulgence of a few hours of reading, which my schedule usually precludes me from doing.
- Wear comfortable clothes. I bring a soft pashmina-type wrap that keeps me warm and can be used as a blanket or rolled into a pillow. I dress in layers and pack fuzzy socks. I spritz what I’m wearing with my perfume because the scent relaxes me. Having the right clothes makes the trip more comforting and comfortable.
- Pack your own food. Airports are renovating and making huge efforts to bring in healthy, quality foods. That said, I still pack my own 100 calorie bags of nuts and trail mix, gluten-free energy bars, specialty green tea bags and other lightweight, non-liquid items I prefer.
- Build in rewards for longer delays. If my flight is delayed more than two hours, I buy an indulgent treat. It can be frozen yogurt or a chocolate bar. Whatever strikes me is mine to savor while the clock ticks.
- Check out the apps you’ve been meaning to research. Apps save time and make life easier only if you install them on your phone. I float around the app store and add new cool things to my phone while waiting for flight updates. (There’s an app for that too, by the way!)
- Magazines! There’s likely a bookstore or newsstand near your gate with a dizzying array of magazines. When was the last time you read one just for fun? Be it a gossip magazine, cooking tips or one for cigar enthusiasts, indulge and enjoy.
- Exercise. We’re all short on time and for many that means skipping workouts. So get up and take a walk. Do calf raises. Push against a wall and stretch. If you go online you can find some fantastic exercises to can do while seated. They actually work.
- Network! I’ve met fascinating people at airports. There’s no easier conversation starter than a shared experience. Strike up a conversation with the people who are pacing 5 feet away from you and share some of your tricks for dealing with flight delays. You’ll meet new people and help them deal with the inevitable.
Have tips of your own? Share them with me onTwitter: @SMEChristy. Want my favorite travel apps? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.