Nothing is certain especially when you are traveling. I traveled from Lebanon to Sharm El-Sheikh taking two flights, one to Cairo then another to Sharm El-Sheikh. During my round trip (covering 4 flights) I had two flight delays, one due to bad weather conditions and another due to the fact that the plane I was traveling in was delayed in arriving. As a total, I had to wait around 5 hours between each flight.
Since people are adaptive, I had to find ways to cope and to make the clock tick faster.
Here are some suggestions that you can do when/if you are stuck in an airport:
1. Visit every corner of the duty free shops: Why not visit the duty free? Smell all the perfumes you find, who knows, you might find your ultimate scent. Visit other stores, see other items, compare prices, and look around…
2. Make an airport map: Visit all the corners of the airport and try to map it. Draw where the different gates are situated, where the duty free is, how they are connected. Have fun by discovering what the architect was thinking when he/she drew the airport map. You can also get creative and suggest different ways of locating gates.
3. Discover patterns: When you sit for a long time in the same place, you start discovering patterns. Patterns can be flight schedules, cleaning patterns, passenger dress code, and others. Be attentive and document patterns, it’s so much fun!
4. Interview people: If you have a video camera, why not interview people that are also waiting with you, about their feelings regarding the wait. You can create a movie and share it online. I am sure that people are frustrated and will sure enjoy venting out!
5. Photo-shooting of the airport: Since you have time, why not take picture of the whole experience starting by pictures of the airport itself. How about a 360° introduction for your friends. You can also take close shots of nice things around you. Just let your imagination drift!
6. Enjoy a meal and chew each bite 40 times: Eating is a social event that makes one happy, challenge yourself to eat as slowly as possible and enjoy every single bite. Find a nice place in a nice café and indulge yourself with life’s most basic pleasures. FOOD!
7. Sleep: Find a calm place to sleep, use your bag as a pillow. Make sure that everything is in your bag, close your bag securely and good sleep!
8. Keep your family and friends updated: Send email messages to your family. Upload pictures of your airport stay on Facebook. Tweet. Feel free to share the experience on any social network. You can also write a blog post (like I did/like I am doing!)
9. Meet new people: When you are stuck in an airport, there are zillion other people stuck with you. Meet some new people. Learn to say hello in a different languages.
10. Read a book: You might already have a book with you, so why not read it. If you don’t, buy a book from the duty free and let yourself travel to a different world.
11. Play cards: You can find playing cards in the duty free (or you might have some cards with you already) so gather three other players and play cards together. Playing cards is competitive, it makes the time fly by, and you sure will enjoy it.
12. Always have a plan: When you travel, you should always keep in mind that you sure will have some free time. So plan ahead, you might have some work you would like to do, some reading, some thinking… I had some documents to read, so I enjoyed that!
What else can you add?
Is there something else that you can do when stuck in an airport that I forgot to mention?