One of the biggest drags about flying is waiting in airports.
It could be that you unexpectedly made it through security way faster than you anticipated and suddenly have a lot of down time before your flight leaves, or you have a long layover in an airport.
Either way, it seems like a big waste of your time. And believe me, I’ve experienced every bit of it. I have also sprinted through airports and terminals enough to know that I prefer a much more casual pace to catching a flight.
So next time you get stuck with extra time in an airport, keep these five tips in mind for passing the time.
1.) Go To A Bar!
Well duh!? What did you think the publisher of PubClub.com would have #1 on this list!?
Bars can be a fun place to meet fellow travelers and share a few experiences over a couple of drinks or beers. Wine bars are becoming big in airports, too.
As an experienced airport lounge lounger, here’s a couple of tips: I like to find a bar close to my gate. That way, if I start having toooo good of a time, or find it hard to pull away at the critical waining moments of a close sports game on TV, then I’m not very far from boarding my flight. If it’s close enough to the gate, I can also keep an eye on the boarding process so I don’t waste time standing around for no reason.
2.) Walk Around The Airport
I do this a lot. For one, it helps me to get to know the airport, information I can store away for possible future use. I also use this opportunity to find the closest (and hopefully the liveliest) bar to my departure gate.
Some airports have photo and other displays about their city or the history of aviation at that destination. If you take the time to notice, airports have some really cool things in them. Take the occasional break at a seat – if you’re a people-watcher this is an excellent way to pass the time.
If I have a really long layover in a fun airport – say, Dallas/Fort Worth – then I just ride the Sky Tram around for a a while. Tip: Always keep an eye out on the time because, for some reason I will never understand, most airports don’t have clocks.
3.) Seek Out Entertainment
This is particularly true in Europe. The Zurich airport has a guy playing a grand piano. Munich has not only a biergarten but tennis courts and Miami has a swimming pool on its roof! DFW has huge arcade games. Las Vegas, of course, has slot machines.
It’s always a good idea to walk around your terminal and, if you have enough time, to other parts of the airport.
Tip: Just be careful not to head out a door that will suddenly put you on the other side of security.
4.) Poke Your Head Into The Shops
I’m not much of a shopper, but sometimes to fend off boredom, I will go into the shops. Magazine and bookstores are of a particular interest to me, if for no other reason than to read the headlines of the local paper so I can kind of get a feel for what’s going on in that town.
5.) Strike Up A Conversation With A Friendly-Looking (And Equally Bored) Person Around You
I’m a friendly person and like to talk to other friendly people. I may start out with a “hey” and if things progress from there then it’s a “where are you from” and “where are you going” type of thing. Who knows, you may meet a neighbor or a new friend!
BONUS: Go to an airline lounge. If you are a member just go in; others can buy a day pass. Tip: Before you pay, see what they have there, such as food & drinks included in the fee.