It’s a beautiful day outside, and you’ve got dreams of adventure on your mind—but right now you’re stuck in an airport terminal with nowhere to go.
There’s nothing quite like a delayed flight to put a dark cloud over your entire vacation. Even when your airport reps tell you that it will only be a couple of hours until you’re up in the air, it’s difficult to know for certain when you’ll arrive at your destination.
It’s easy to get stuck on negative thoughts, telling yourself that your hard-earned trip isn’t going to happen, or that all of your money has been wasted. However, there are much more productive ways to spend your time. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. DO SOME RESEARCH
First things first, empower yourself!
A delayed flight can make you feel like you’re stuck in a problematic space without any options. However, as a patron of an airline, you do have some rights—particularly if you’re flying in or out of Europe.
Depending on how long your flight is grounded for, where you’re going, and whether the delay is the fault of your airline, you could be eligible for free support, compensation and more. With that in mind, get online and start researching as soon as you can. The more you find out about your flight delay rights, the more prepared you’ll be.
2. USE THE WI-FI
Most airports today will give you free access to their Wi-Fi. Even if you usually have to pay for your connection, you could consider asking for a free pass if your flight has been delayed. Many airline representatives will give you the premium password to try and keep you happy.
With your Wi-Fi connection and a phone charger, you’ll be able to check your social media pages, connect with friends, and even watch your favourite shows on Netflix. It might not be as good as getting on your flight on time, but at least it will keep you busy.
3. MEET NEW PEOPLE
When you’re stuck with a delayed flight, you’ll be in the same annoying position as hundreds of other people. While you could let their sense of frustration get to you, there is another option. Consider making it your mission to cheer some people up, by chatting to some potential new friends in your terminal. Ask people to tell you about their holiday plans and share your own; you might find out about some things you can do in your destination that you didn’t consider before.
You never know, if you’re single, the conversations that you start when you’re waiting for your flight to take off could even lead to a holiday romance.
4. READ SOMETHING
Sometimes, the book stores in airports can be seriously overpriced. However, paying a little more than usual for a novel might be worth the expense if it means that you can escape to somewhere other than your airport terminal—even if it’s just in your mind. Reading something can be a great way to get your mind off your uncomfortable situation. If you can afford to treat yourself to a coffee too, you could enjoy some serious rest while waiting for your flight to board.
Just make sure that you don’t get so engrossed in your book that you end up missing any announcements from the airport team. A delayed flight can start boarding at almost any moment.
5. UPDATE YOUR ITINERARY
While you’re waiting for your holiday to begin, why not look for some extra things to do? Research your destination online or ask your airport rep for some tips on what you should see when you arrive. This could be a great time to make some additional plans on how to spend your time when you get to where you want to be.
You could even check out some YouTube videos for extra information.
6. VLOG ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE
Feeling extra creative? Create a vlog or blog about what’s happening to you. You’d be surprised how many hits you could get from other people looking for information on what’s happening.
Vlogging will also make it easier for you to record all of the details of your experience. That way, if you need to explain it to someone when claiming flight delay compensation, you won’t have to worry about mis-remembering certain details.