Lifestyle Don't let flight delays get you down—do these things instead

Don’t let flight delays get you down—do these things instead

Travel is tiring, but there's also a lot of sitting, usually in a semi-cramped atmosphere. Get up and explore!

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Your flight’s delayed, you’re frustrated, and suddenly you’ve got time on your hands. It can be weird to be stuck in the airport while waiting for a flight, especially if you don’t know what to do next.

Everyone can agree that waiting is a boring activity. It would be tempting to locate a quiet corner and whisk away the time (and the frustration from the flight delay) by watching Netflix or scrolling ceaselessly through Instagram on one’s phone. Nevertheless, we must resist the urge to be inactive when there is so much around us to explore.

Believe me when I say that airports are interesting places, and they often hold way more surprises than you would expect.

When you next find yourself in a flight delay fix, wondering what to do with all this extra time, check out some of these suggestions:

Indulge in the local cuisine

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Photo: Yun Nans at Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore/YouTube screen grab

If you’ve got time to kill, you might as well eat. Besides their international offerings, airports also have a selection of restaurants proudly offering the local cuisine.

Instead of turning to a McDonald’s to curb your hunger, take the opportunity to get a taste of the local flavours. You might be passing through the airport of a country you have never visited or might never visit in the future. Might as well get a taste of their delicacies! Besides, who doesn’t love to eat? By the time the plane rolls around, you’ll be ready to doze off into a food-induced slumber.

Catch a flick

Photo: Ticket Box and Snack Bar at the Incheon International Airport, South Korea/YouTube screen grab

If Netflix is really calling your name, why not answer the call with a bigger and better experience—a movie in the theatre. Many international airports now have movie theatres that offer a selection of current, full-feature films, complete with popcorn and everything.

Singapore’s Changi Airport has two 24-hour theatres that screen the latest blockbusters,  free of charge! Hong Kong International boasts the world’s first airport IMAX theatre and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International has a 6D cinema, complete with moving seats and 21 special effects. South Korea’s Incheon International Airport has two movie theatres, Oregon’s Portland International Airport shows short films by local filmmakers and Minnesota’s Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport has a theatre that features art house films.

Go for a spa treatment

Photo: Royal Orchid Spa at the Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok, Thailand/YouTube screen grab

Why not take some of the stress of travelling away and go for a spa treatment while waiting for that delayed flight? Some airline lounges offer a variety of services to help you unwind and relax while you’re in transit—facials, massages, hair cuts, and the like.

Travel can be taxing on the body, so feeling at ease and fresh before hopping on a long flight can make your journey so much better. Etihad First and Business Lounge Abu Dhabi, Thai Airways First Class Lounge Bangkok, and Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai are just some of the airport lounges that offer spa treatments to their passengers.

While you may not be flying first or business class, you may still be able to get into the lounge. Perhaps the airlines would be inclined to let you in for free, to make up for the flight delay. Either way, it’s worth a try!

Squeeze in a workout

Photo: Treadmills at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, US/YouTube screen grab

If you’re so inclined (if you’re a hardcore exercise rat or if you want to burn some of that amazing food you’ve been stuffing your face with on your travels), you can always use your extra time to workout.

Travel is tiring, but there’s also a lot of sitting, usually in a semi-cramped atmosphere (like squeezing into an airline seat or being stuck on a bus or train). The inactivity, as well as the changing pressure on flights, can make you feel lethargic. A quick (or intense!) exercise session at an airport gym may be just the thing to make you feel alive again.

Many international airports, such as Changi Singapore International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, have fitness centres that offer well-equipped gyms and wellness classes like yoga or pilates.

Do some shopping

Photo: Duty-free shopping at the Pairs Charles de Gaulle Airport in France/YouTube screen grab

Shopping can be a very effective stress reliever for some. Perhaps you have some foreign currency left over and feel the need to do some shopping.

Check out the airport’s duty-free stores and see what they have in stock. While you save money on taxes shopping duty-free, airports usually hike up prices for certain goods. However, items with high taxes outside the airport— such as alcohol and tobacco—might be cheaper to purchase at duty-free shops. Maybe buy a few bottles for the folks back at home?

Besides the usual duty-free shops, many international airports have an impressive array of shops and brands for you to enjoy. Why not get a little something for yourself (and for those you love) while you wait?

Waiting for a delayed flight can be unbearably boring, but if you get up and explore, you’ll discover that airports are interesting places with a lot to do and see. Use your waiting time (this works on long layovers, too!) to check out what the airport has to offer. It may surprise you! /TISG

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