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Flight Delayed? Here Are 8 Creative Ways to Kill Time at the Airport

Travel chaos around the world, including in Australia, is extending people’s stay at the airport for what seems like an eternity. As a result, travellers are often left waiting in long queues for lost baggage, rebooking cancelled flights or waiting on delayed flights. A new report from a flight tracking site FlightAware revealed the worst airports for flight delays and cancellations worldwide. While the majority of airports included in the list are in Europe and North America, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport was 9th on the list, with approximately 34.2 per cent of its flights being delayed from 26 May to 19 July 2022.

Experiencing flight delays can be very frustrating and overwhelming. However, in the unfortunate event your flight is delayed, here are eight creative and fun ways to pass the time. 

Do some shopping 

Airports have a wide variety of stores, both in international and domestic terminals. What better way to know a city than by trying its local specialities? If you’re hungry, buy some uniquely-flavoured candies and snacks to munch on while you roam around. If you’re into designer perfumes or beauty products, you’ll have plenty of items to browse through. If you’re in need of a new outfit, grab some clothes at any of the shops located in your terminal. Not only will you enjoy a comprehensive selection but let’s not forget about all the duty-free products! 

Not keen on spending money? No problem! Shopping at the airport can be a tad expensive, but there’s always the option to simply browse and window shop.  

Pamper yourself

Travelling can be exhausting and, when you factor in flight delays, it can take a toll on your body. If you’re looking for a little zen time to escape the chaos of airports and have a little self-care session, see if there is a spa or salon in your terminal. Many airports have spas, nail salons and/or massage chairs scattered around the terminals. You can relieve some of the stress by getting a relaxing massage or even a manicure.

Grab a bite to eat

Most airports offer a wide range of restaurants and cafés you can enjoy while waiting for your next flight. If you’re at an international airport, you have an endless selection of different cuisines. You can take yourself on a foodie tour around the world by trying different menu items from different countries. 

Slow down in silence

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the airport, especially if your flight has bee delayed. Thankfully, it can be easier than you might think to slow down and find tranquillity. Several airports, including Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport and Brisbane Airport, have prayer rooms where you can worship, meditate or simply enjoy some peace and quiet. Plus, some international airports even feature yoga rooms where you can stretch out before your next flight. 

Get lost in another world

If you’re done exploring the airport, find a spot to settle down. Once you’re comfortable, you can catch up on your favourite TV shows or maybe watch a new movie. Many airports offer free Wi-Fi, so be sure to take advantage of it to entertain yourself. Alternatively, you can grab a new book at one of the airport shops or listen to music to escape reality for a little while.

Freshen up 

If you’ve been travelling for several hours already, you’re probably in need of a clean. So, if you have a few hours to kill, why not look for shower facilities at the airport? Various airports feature public showers, particularly in international terminals. This is a great way to refresh and recharge yourself before boarding your next flight. 

Rest your eyes 

Did you know that some airports offer sleeping pods where you can wind down and take a quick nap while waiting for your flight? For example, Perth Airport has sleep pods for travellers to relax during layovers or flight delays. 

Not all airports offer sleeping pods but don’t let that get in your way of getting some much-deserved rest! All you need is a nice spot (such as a lounge chair), a travel pillow and your jacket/jumper as the blanket to shut your eyes for some rest. Just be mindful that, if you’re travelling alone, you may want to store your belongings somewhere safe before getting some shut-eye. Hint: many airports also provide luggage storing facilities (such as lockers) where you can put your personal items. 

Play tourist

If you have enough time until your next flight, you can even explore the city outside the airport and play tourist for a few hours. It’s like a bonus holiday without paying for the flight separately! 

However, it is very important to remember that, if you leave, you’ll need to queue for security again when you return to the airport. Given that these lines have been tediously long lately, it may not be worth it. If you’re unsure, you can always ask an airport employee or ask your airline.