The more often you fly, the more likely it is that you’ll end up facing a delay or cancellation at some point in your life. Airlines are constantly battling against issues like extreme weather, strikes and technical malfunctions, which can make it incredibly difficult to ensure every single flight takes off without a hitch.
The good news is that if you do end up stuck in the airport for a while, you don’t have to just sit there watching the clock go by Instead of letting your frustration build up, why not start your holiday early by finding some fun things to do? Here are just a few options for you to consider.
1. Watch the planes (or people) go by
While plane spotting might not be the most exciting way to kill time, it can be great way to keep young children entertained during flight delays. Most airports will have a large viewing area or series of windows that you can use to watch the planes come and go throughout the day. When I was a kid, my mum used to take me to the lounge at Cardiff Airport to watch the planes taking off on the runway!
If your plane is delayed because all flights have been grounded, indulge in a spot of people-watching instead, or keep the kids entertained with a game of ‘eye spy’.
2. Go for a walk
We often tend to pass through airports so quickly that we never have a chance to really explore our surroundings. I tend to spend all my time shopping for perfume and stuffing my face in the restaurants when I’m waiting to catch a flight. Since you’ve got some extra time to kill when your flight is delayed, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to discover what the airport has to offer.
Tuck into a meal at one of the restaurants, embrace your inner child in the games room, or stretch your legs with a gentle stroll around the departure areas.
3. Strike up a conversation
While talking to a stranger is often nerve-wracking, it can also be a fun way to fill time. The fact that your flight has been delayed can act as a fantastic icebreaker. Look for someone who seems friendly and try to strike up a conversation. If you they don’t share your enthusiasm, you can always move onto someone else!
4. Grab some food
Eat to your heart’s content in one of the airport restaurants. After all, you’re going to get peckish at some point, and your airline might even be willing to cover the cost of a meal if you’re going to be stuck without a flight for several hours. Most airports will have plenty of restaurants to choose from, so treat yourself to something scrumptious to keep your spirits high while you wait for the next available flight.
5. Get some sleep
Flying can be exhausting at the best of times, but when you’ve got the stress of a delay to deal with too, there’s a good chance you’re going to end up feeling wiped out. If there’s nothing else you can do to but wait to board, now might be the best time to catch up on some rest. Find somewhere quiet and snooze for a little while. If you’re flight is severely delayed, you could try requesting access to the VIP lounge for super-comfy seats.
6. Buy some souvenirs
If you’re the kind of person who likes to bring gifts home for friends and family, then it’s worth taking the time to look around the airport shops. Colossal candy bars, chocolates and cut-price alcohol available to choose from at the duty-free, and this could be the perfect way to save yourself some time when you’re on your vacation. You could also stock up on must-have items like sun lotion and books too.
7. Plan your holiday itinerary
Keep your mind on the excitement of your upcoming trip by planning each day of your trip in advance. Find out as much as you can about local restaurants, shops, nightlife, and activities, and make sure that you don’t have to scramble from one destination to the next when you arrive wherever you’re going.
8. Use your smartphone
Most of us don’t need an excuse to spend hours staring at a smartphone. If you’re looking for an excuse to kill some time, you can always check out what’s happening on your catch up fees current affairs, or even check whether you might be entitled to some well-deserved flight delay compensation for your delayed flight.