Waiting at the airport can turn out to be really boring, especially when waiting for an international flight. Imagine sitting at an air-conditioned hall for 2 to 3 hours after checking in, only to sit for another string of hours after boarding the airplane. As for domestic flights, waiting can be shortened to an hour or even 45 minutes, but yes, you will still have to wait.
The same applies to connecting flights and delayed flights. Patience is a part of the reality of traveling (as it is a part of the reality of almost anything else). Sometimes, it really gets on the nerves of passengers.
The situations described above give you a lot of extra time at the airport. Instead of spending it by complaining, why not be extra patient and extra considerate? No one wanted the flights to be delayed, and you really can’t have it your way inside the airport—unless of course if you have your own plane. Besides, there are a lot of things you can do!
You can read a book. Depending on how long your waiting time is, maybe you can finish an entire chapter or an entire novel while waiting. Reading not only enhances your brain’s activity, but it also lets you take part in an imaginary adventure even when you’re just seated and relaxed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be novels and short stories though. You can also read magazines, memoirs, academic lectures, and even the Bible.
Watching a movie can also keep you up until the boarding starts. All you need is your laptop (or one of those portable DVD players with a screen on it) and reliable earphones and you’re set. You can either watch your favorite movie, a critically-acclaimed documentary, or just catch up on the latest season of TV series you are currently watching.
While your laptop is on, you can also surf the internet. You can tweet, update your Facebook status, and listen to music. Airports usually have free internet access to keep passengers entertained while waiting.
However, aside from these usual activities plus sleeping, you can be extra creative with your extra time!
You can practice your writing skills and create a blog post about your adventure. More than just uploading your pictures after the trip, you can document your awesome adventure by writing down notes. Of course, it is better to start with your experience at the airport. It’s like keeping a diary, but only for this certain trip.
During your trip, you can revise and improve your draft at the end of each day. You can also note which photos or videos to include in the post and where to provide links. After your trip, you can create the final draft—including all the links, photos, and videos—and post it on your blog or on other social media.
If you got a pen and paper, you can also work on your drawing skills by doodling or by mapping your journey. It’s almost the same as making a blog post about the trip, only this time you will use drawings.
Get a map (usually for free) at the airport and start creating your own map for your adventure. Make drawings to remember where to go, which places to eat at, and which streets to visit. You can later work on it during your trip.
When you have a knack for freehand drawing, you just can’t resist re-imagining an empty airport, drawing random face portraits (some with annotations), and doodling on your notebook, planner, or sketchpad. You’ll be surprised at the masterpiece you’ve created by the time you can board the plane.
Aside from these, you can also be your own videographer and take snippets of your trip, starting at the airport. You can also try making a video that you think can go viral, just like Richard Dunn’s video of himself alone at the airport lip-syncing to Celine Dion’s All By Myself.
See, there are a lot of crazy, i.e. creative, things that you can do to keep yourself entertained at the airport. So next time you have to wait for a flight, or when your flight is delayed, be sure to think outside the box!