How to Spend a Flight Delay

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks Read More

There you are, sitting in the airport lounge, highlighting your travel guide with all the great things you plan to do in London when you find out that your flight has been delayed. Now what? Well, you are not alone. In fact, you're among 500,000 other passengers around the world who experience flight delays each month. So, why not turn your flight delay into something positive? Check out our tips on how to spend a flight delay—you might just find something unexpectantly amazing!

Head to the Bookstore

Authors Bookstore

It’s true that the books you find at airport bookstores are as seriously overpriced at a hotdog at Yankee Stadium, but now that you have some time on your hands, you can finally explore those books you have been wanting to read. You may even be willing to finally break down and buy it or add it to your Audible or Kindle collection. While you are browsing the stacks, don’t forget to check out our review of inspiring books to read on your trip. Who knows, this travel delay may motivate you to choose a new path in life, get in touch with your spiritual self, or make the world a better place.

Start a Travel Blog

woman typing at laptop

If you had thoughts of documenting your travel adventure, but either ran out of time or did not know how to get started—now is the time to create your very own travel blog. We're sure that you've read a few blogs about those exotic places you are planning to visit, so why not be one that other travelers go to when they plan their next trip? I got started blogging when I spent a month backpacking in South Africa. It was a great way for family and friends to keep up on my adventures in near real-time. Some of you may want to turn this into a way to earn a little extra cash, while some may just want to let your parents know you are doing okay. Either way, check out this great article on how to start your own travel blog.

Learn More About Your Travel Destination

Travel Guide India

Even though you probably have dozens of dog-ears in your trusty travel guide, there are always more things you can learn about your travel destination. You now have some dedicated time to do some heavy-duty research without interruption. Take the time to get to know the people and their culture and maybe a few helpful local phrases. Maybe it’s time to check out those travel blogs that were on your to-do list. If you find some new must-see attractions, now is the time to make some calls or go online to reserve a spot on that tour. You have a much better chance of doing it now rather than missing out when you get there.

Explore the Airport

shopping center at airport

Many airports these days are like big shopping malls that just happen to have an airport attached to it. Take some time to walk around and enjoy all they have to offer - especially if you fly into one of these airports. You can enjoy your flight delay by taking in a movie, relaxing in a yoga room, enjoying local culture at a museum, getting in a workout at a fitness center or tasting a great meal at a gourmet restaurant. Most airports know that there will be many people like you looking for things to do during delays and layovers, so they have catered to the air traveler in so many innovative ways. Check out the airport’s webpage to see what fun ways you can spend your time during your travel delay. You may be surprised what you find.

Explore the Airport Lounges

dubai international airport interior

If you happen to be one of the lucky ones flying business class, you will already be in the VIP room sipping on a cocktail and munching on bar snacks on a comfy overstuffed chair. Airline lounges offer a quiet, relaxed place to spend your time before your flight and you may qualify to use it if your travel delay is the airline’s fault. Just check in at the airline desk and ask about getting a lounge pass. They may be hesitant to hand out passes to everyone on a delayed flight, but the best approach is to always ask nicely and see what they can do for you. You may already have access and don’t know it. Many credit cards have lounge passes as a perk. Worst case, buy a day pass to the lounge. It may be cheaper than a meal at one of the airport’s restaurants, plus they often offer more reliable wifi connections, showers, and other perks.

Escape the Madness

woman Listening to some music while waiting on departure

Even if you have to spend your travel delay sitting in an uncomfortable airport seat, you can always escape to the world of music and podcasts. If you have exhausted your recent playlists and want to check out something new, explore what the Discoverer team has to offer. Enjoy our favorite podcasts or jam to the Discoverer layover playlist and the time will seem to melt away.

Head into the City

airport transportation signs

Just because you are delayed, you’re not trapped at the airport. Depending on your expected travel delay, go out and explore what’s around the airport. If you have a good amount of time before your departure and the airport is near public transit, why not turn your delay into a chance to explore the city? Maybe you've been delayed in a city you have always wanted to visit, but never had the time. Guess what—you have the time. So, eat at that restaurant you have only read about or head to a local attraction that’s on your bucket list. Nearly every airline has their own app, so, use it to keep an eye on your expected boarding time so a delay does not turn into a missed flight.

Protect Your Rights as a Traveler

tired woman sitting in airport terminal

If your travel delay has turned into a nightmare, you need to know your rights as a traveler. You do have an advocate out there who can help you claim a refund for your travel delay. Airhelp is a company that helps air passengers around the world get compensation for their delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights. Most of us are unsure or unaware of our rights as an air traveler and don’t have the time or the expertise to figure out the process. Airhelp’s goal is to make the claims process as easy and seamless as possible. It only takes three minutes to file a claim and they take care of the rest. The time you spend protecting your rights may pay dividends in the end.

Enjoy this article? Share it with a friend

All featured products and deals are selected independently and objectively by the author. The Discoverer may receive a share of sales via affiliate links in content.

Discover the World’s Best Destinations, with your free weekly travel guide sent straight to your inbox.