6 Things To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed

A while ago, Berty and I had the most ridiculous delay experience. We recently booked a flight from Spokane to Seattle, which takes about 45 minutes. Unfortunately because of the holidays and some engine troubles, our flight was delayed two hours. (Arg!!) Frustrated and with no choice but to sit in the terminal, I (Emily) was determined to make these wasted hours of my day count. To save you the trouble I experienced, I’ve compiled a list of things for you to do to stave off boredom and un-waste those precious hours of yours.

Your Flight is Delayed! Now What Do You Do?

First Things First

If you have connecting flights, make sure your schedule is still running smoothly. If not, the airline should provide you with alternative flights or help you rebook so that you make the rest of your journey smoothly. Make sure to be kind and speak politely to airline employees. They essentially have your future in their hands and you won’t believe how much politeness could make a difference.

Take A Walk

You will be sitting for who knows how long on the plane (and waiting in the terminal), so you might as well get some exercise while you can. If you are traveling with companions, keep your luggage with a buddy and explore the other side of the terminal. You might find some surprises! When Berty and I travel to the Taipei airport, we always look forward to seeing the themed sitting rooms and walking up and down the decorated hallways. (Everything from Hello Kitty rooms to movie theaters to enchanted indoor gardens are here!)

Get a Massage

I recently read an article that is in total favor of those airport massages. Woohoo! They can help circulate blood through your body, which give numerous health benefits. Massages can also be helpful to alleviate stress and stiffness that can sometimes happen during long flights. If you tend to be on the more nervous side of traveling (aka me, Emily) a massage would definitely help your body relieve some tension during unexpected changes.

Go To a Restaurant

If you will be missing a meal because of your delay, spend some time getting food in the airport. Not the quick bagel and cream cheese type snack, but the sit-down restaurant kind.  This will make time go by faster. Nicer restaurants usually provide more comfortable seating and a better atmosphere. While we wouldn’t usually recommend buying food at the airport (they usually are astronomically expensive) long delays are an exception for us. We find that it’s better to eat at regular times rather than skip a meal and be hungry upon your destination.

Read a Book or Buy a Magazine

Sometimes careful purchases can stave off hours of boredom. Magazines are a great way to pass the time and there are many to choose from at airport kiosks. If you don’t want to pack that magazine for the remainder of your trip but don’t want to waste it by throwing it away, consider reading it fully, and then offering it to the next person waiting for their flight for a pleasant surprise.

Get Some Work Done

Some of my best work happens when I’m waiting for a delayed flight. Sitting at the airport, you are practically distraction-free and that allows you to focus on the task in front of you. Use the airport’s free wifi and charging stations to juice up your tech and arrive with full batteries and work finished!

Do you have any tricks to defeat boredom during delayed flights or layovers? I’d love to hear more ideas! Comment below 🙂

Thanks for reading!



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  1. YES! Love these ideas, fantastic. A couple other ideas could include: Phone a Friend, been meaning to catch up? Aside from the occasional boarding announcement in the background, it’s a good time to get some talk time with a buddy. Another good one is stretching (kinda goes along with walking). I’m sure I always look weird stretching to everyone else, but who gives a rat’s behind, I won’t ever see them again! 🙂

    1. Those are great ideas Char! I never thought about calling a friend at the airport but I actually do it ALL the time waiting for other things! Also, stretching is definitely a good trick too. Nothing sucks than sore muscles after a long flight!