Your bags are through, you’ve slipped off your shoes for the airport security pat-down and you’re already on your second pre-flight drink when you see the big red words of doom appear on the screen above you: ‘DELAYED’. A familiar flight number appears alongside the words no traveller ever wants to see and you recalculate the difference in the times flashing on the screen to make sure you aren’t mistaken. Your flight is delayed…by three hours.
Whether you’re sizzling with the excitement that only comes with jetting off on holiday or you’re embarking on the long and reluctant journey home, an airport delay is enough to strike fear into the heart of any traveller. Even the best laid travel plans can unravel and the only way to keep your calm is to roll with the punches and use the time to your advantage. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Branches of World Duty Free can be found in airports throughout Europe, with the largest of them offering a range of complimentary treatments from the biggest beauty brands. Take advantage of the delay by treating yourself to a hand massage from Aveda, a mini-makeover from Benefit, a make-up lesson from Bobbi Brown or a facial from Clarins. You’ll be surprised how quickly you forget all about your flight delay!
We lead busier lives than ever and it’s far too easy to forget to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest. Make the most of your flight delay by checking in with all of those people you haven’t spoken to recently. Give your Mum or Nan a call, Skype friends abroad and reply to all of those text messages you had forgotten about.
Do some last-minute destination planning
A flight delay can be the perfect excuse to swot up on your destination if it occurs at the beginning of your holiday. Even the most frequent traveller can be guilty of casting planning by the wayside but there are countless blogs, guides and articles waiting to be discovered online, each of them offering insider hints and tips on where to go, what to do and where to eat. Start with the Bolsover Cruise Club blog (of course!), before spreading your internet wings further afield. You’ll be a destination expert by the time you board that plane.
If you’ve peeled yourself out of bed and headed straight to the airport, the chances are you haven’t even had a chance to stretch your legs yet. Use your airport delay as an excuse to get the blood pumping; Singapore’s Changi Airport and Dubai International Airport are amongst the many that offer extensive gyms for use by flyers. Alternatively, get your blood pumping with a walk around the terminal.
Drag out the holiday feeling a little longer
Rather than thinking of an airport delay as the inconvenience that it is, think of it as an opportunity to extend the holiday feeling a little while longer. Treat the kids to dinner at that cool restaurant they’ve been begging to eat at or take them to the shops and let them pick something new to read or play with on the plane. If you’re heading home, head to the nearest bar and order that cocktail that reminds you of days on the beach or afternoons by the pool.