I recently had a bad delay and this inspired me to write this article for the Patricia Bech Travel Notes. There is nothing more frustrating than having to endure a long flight delay. Whether you are on your way out of an airport and really excited about your trip ahead. Or desperate to get home to your own bed. It can be very irritating to be held up part-way through your journey.
That said, if it happens in an airport, then at least there is plenty to do! Being held up on a car journey is far worse as you are stuck in the car with very few options for entertainment. If you have a flight delay then at least you can browse the shops and enjoy some of the restaurants.
Now, it does depend on where you are delayed as to what is on offer at the airport. Obviously, the bigger the airport the better! I was recently stuck at London Heathrow for a while. This is one of the best airports to be delayed in because it is very large and has lots of different things on offer.
As soon as I found out that I was going to be delayed, I made a plan of things to do. As I said, first on my list was an article for the Patricia Bech Travel Notes. Then it was a visit to the shops. I am normally really rushed when I go through an airport and barely have time to look at anything properly. If you give yourself lots of time to browse the shelves, it will be possible to discover great bargains. Also some limited-edition items that may not be available on the high street. Being a girl means that I can spend hours on end in the makeup department.
In fact, if you are delayed, then this can be a good opportunity to ask one of the experts on hand to try a new makeup look on you. You can ask them to do a matching test for foundation or try some different shades of lip gloss. No matter how small the airport, there is normally always a makeup section. I guess this is not as helpful for men as women. Men can perhaps try some of the designer fragrances on offer in order to kill some time.
Even though I rarely buy an alcohol in an airport, a delay does give you time to browse the selection of wines and spirits that are available. This is really useful for those looking to get deals on certain items. Some spirits are much cheaper in certain countries. You may also find some local beverages that you enjoyed on holiday, which are also for sale at the airport.
Enduring a flight delay also means you can look for gifts for friends and family. Giant chocolate bars are great for children and t-shirts, mugs and souvenirs will also be available.
Many of the larger airports have mainstream stores located within them alongside designer outlets. I like to window shop at some of the expensive stores because my budget does not enable me to buy Gucci belts and Chanel hanbags! It is always nice to look though. Maybe one day the Patricia Bech Travel Notes will lead me into a situation where I can earn enough to buy something from here. For the moment, when it comes to actually spending money, you will find me in the likes of Accessorize. This is a great shop to go to if you have an outbound delay. You can often find lovely holiday items, especially for a beach trip, such as sunglasses and jewellery.
As a travel blogger, I always like to take my laptop with me in my hand baggage. Guess what? A delay for me means more writing time, either for the Patricia Bech Travel Notes or some of the other publications I write for like A Luxury Travel Blog. You can usually find a quiet corner at an airport where you can work. Some of the bigger airports have computer zones where you can also charge your devices.
Eating and drinking
If your delay happens during a mealtime, then this is the perfect opportunity to try out some of the airport restaurants. This happened to me once in Dubai. The airport is so big there, you have lots of different opportunities to try various food outlets. From seafood to fast food, it is possible to sample lots of different cuisine.
For extra long delays, it may be worth treating yourself to lounge access. Some of the airport lounges allow you to buy a pass. Of course, some are reserved only for travellers that hold a business or first class tickets, but it is worth checking this out when you get a moment. If you get access to a lounge, it can be more cost effective than eating in the main airport. There is often access to free food and drink. It also means that you are guaranteed a place to sit down, which is particularly helpful in a busy airport where there is no where to sit. I want to review a lounge for the Patricia Bech Travel Notes this year, so I will report back on my experience.
If you are delayed on one of your upcoming trips, hopefully these ideas will be helpful and make your time in the airport less dull.
- Want to read more? Take a look at my Europe Section.