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Delayed flight? Here Are 10 Ways To Spend Time

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With travel increasing up to pre-pandemic levels for summer 2022, there will also be flight delays across the US. Since May, U.S. air travelers have experienced an increase in flight delays of approximately 25% compared to last year. Although the delays and cancellations are due to so many factors, it also looks like they won’t go away anytime soon. What will a stranded traveler do?

To make dreaded flight delays more bearable, here are some easy and fun ways to spend time at the airport.

Cross-legged woman wearing glasses holding a cup of coffee sitting and relaxing in an airport lounge

Touch the Lounge

This may seem an obvious, but don’t exclude the option to check in at the airport lounge if your flight is delayed a few hours or more. Whether you’re a frequent flyer with lounge access already or are thinking about splurging on a day pass, airport lounges can really help reduce the stress of travel delays.

Before your trip, we recommend checking the lounge amenities where you will be flying so you can determine if it will be worth your spend. Many lounges include free food, drinks, showers, nap pods (!), Exercise equipment, and even a spa – staying here is almost a vacation itself.

Spa Facilities At An Airport Lounge

Catch Your Podcasts

Addicted to podcasts? Who is not in today’s weather. In case of a flight delay on your next trip, make sure you download the latest episodes of some of your favorite podcasts to your phone before heading to the airport so you have plenty of entertainment to fill up during those airport hours. .

man sitting at the airport at the gate on the ground listening to music on his phone

Cool down first

Sometimes you really can’t do anything about the flight delay, so you can also make the most of it. So, why not use this time to stop your busy life? Once you’ve passed security, find a restaurant or coffee shop to relax at your terminal and hurry.

family of four eating at an airport restaurnt

Research Your Trip

Another key part of the trip is trip planning, and unless you’re a travel wizard, there are likely to be some aspects of your trip that you haven’t explored yet. A great way to be productive at the airport in case there is a big delay is to research your destination.

Find the do’s and don’ts section in your guidebook and inform yourself about the local culture and customs and read any hidden gems to be found that can make your trip more meaningful.

woman wearing face mask reading book at airport


There’s no better time than a delay at the airport to start tending to the daunting work tasks you’ve put off. Stay ahead of the game by taking the lead on those emails and other important work items as you relax at your airport terminal before your flight.

Remember, if you plan to use your laptop, phone, or tablet at the airport, make sure you have a VPN installed beforehand. WiFi is public at the airport, so a VPN can help hide your IP address from potential hackers.

woman with her laptop in an airport lounge with coffee working

Browse Duty Free

You don’t have to spend big money if you don’t have a budget, but the window shop at the airport is always fun. Duty Free stores are also a great place to look for big brands without added tax, so if you need to refill that bottle of perfume or cologne, the airport is the place to do it.

The Wines and Spirits store at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 is a newly constructed passenger terminal building in Singapore

Play Card Game

Pack a deck of cards on your next trip and return this lost art in case the airport is delayed. Set up camp with your travel friends near your gate or find an available table and enjoy several hours of classic and high-quality time playing the new card game.

Group of friends relaxing and playing cards.  Young people hanging around the table together while playing cards.

Work Out

What better time to count your steps than when you have some time to kill and plenty of space for walking? It is very important to keep moving as much as possible while traveling, especially before the long plane ride. Use your flight delay time to wander around the airport and even do some lunges and squats while you’re there.

For some tips, check out these ideas for simple exercises to do at the airport.


Traveling is one of the best times to ponder the bigger questions in life. In case of an airport delay, pick up your journal and start writing down your thoughts. Journaling is a great way to calm your mind, so you’ll board your flight virtually stress-free and ready for future adventures.

Woman with medical mask reading book and drinking coffee.

See Airport Art

Many changes at the airport mean a better passenger experience, and many new spaces at airports are being created to keep travelers inspired. For example, LaGuardia’s latest upgrade to Terminal C features works by local NY artists that are definitely worth a look.

traveler passing art project at new Terminal C LaGuardia Airport

Read more:

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions subject to change without notice. The travel decision is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authority to confirm the entry of your nationality and/or any changes in travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse travel against government notices

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