While getting stranded at the airport can certainly be frustrating, there is little that you can do to change it. Instead, you must find a way to make the best of a stressful situation. Nobody wants to be at the airport when they could be relaxing on a beach or enjoying time with family, but the following tips can help reduce your blood pressure.
Long Delay: Get a Hotel Room and Charge it to the Airline
For starters, if your delay is overnight, speak with the airline agent at the counter. Most airlines will pay for a hotel room any time that passengers are stranded at the airport. Even if you are stuck in your hometown, a night at a hotel can be much more fun than a night at the airport and can be more relaxing than simply going home.
Medium Delay: Browse the Gift Shops
If you are stuck in an airport for just a few hours, consider looking around for things to enjoy with the family inside the airport. Most airports have gift shops where you can buy board games, magazines and snacks. Look for a game that the family will love, or pick up some books and magazines that you can read together.
You can also have dinner or coffee at any airport restaurants. Again, ask the airline rep if they will give your family a food voucher (valid at all airport restaurants) to compensate for the delay. The longer you have to wait, the more likely the airline will be to give you freebies.
Short Delay: Play Games
If the delay is under an hour, you can make up games. Take your children to the observation window and take it in turns guessing where each airplane is headed. Or go down to Arrivals and see if you can guess from people’s clothes which city they are arriving from. Be sure to stay alert and don’t miss the call for your own boarding, however!
Dealing With Stress
If you brought an iPod or laptop, consider listening to music so that you don’t have to hear the frustrations of other passengers. Stress can be contagious, and blocking it out can make your time at the airport much less frustrating.
Being stuck at the airport is never a great deal of fun, but if you can create games and activities and work to find things to enjoy about the experience, it doesn’t have to be horrible.