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  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

Bored During A Flight Delay? Try These Ideas

The airport world isn’t very conducive to resting. While some possess the talent to sleep anywhere, more of us have trouble, no matter how tired we are or how many hours we’ve been traveling. If you’ve been hit with a long flight delay and you’re bored with the movies, games, books, and myriad other things available to you on your smartphone, then this article is for you. Try these alternative airport activities on for size when you need to pass the time until boarding.

Photo Credit: A Wild Lass

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Exercise During Flight Delay

For being as tiring as traveling is, you actually do a lot of sitting. You sit on the bus or in the taxi or on the train you take to get to the airport. You sit and wait in the airport. And you sit on the airplane. Why not take some time and get in some exercise while you’re waiting?

Walking is a great way to get some exercise. There is plenty of space to walk in airports, from concourses and terminals to moving sidewalks that make you feel like you’re going twice as fast as your legs are actually moving. Explore the whole airport, and don’t feel limited to your own terminal. Often other terminals are where you find better restaurants and the most interesting spectacles, like this giant dinosaur wearing a team jersey we found at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

Photo Credit: A Wild Lass

It’s also a good way to get through long audio books or audio files you’re using to help you study. When you’re walking while you’re listening, it’s much more interesting.

Doing yoga is another way to get in some healthy body work. Even a relaxing yoga flow can help your circulation and get in the stretches that you won’t be able to achieve while you’re crammed in with the other passengers on the plane.

Have A Progressive Dinner

Who makes the rules about what you eat? If you’re a grown up, you’re probably used to having pancakes at breakfast, sandwiches at lunch, and a steak at dinner. I bet you don’t mix it up very often. But in an airport, there are restaurant options for everyone, and if you want to eat an egg roll with chips and queso for your breakfast, you can do that.

Treat yourself to a progressive dinner while you’re looking for strange combinations to fit your cravings. Have drinks at a bar, dinner somewhere else, dessert yet another place, and even an after dinner coffee at a Starbucks near your gate (ah, Starbucks, is there anything that tastes more like home?). Not only will this style of meal give you a little more entertainment than you normally get during lunch, you’ll get in a bit of exercise as you walk from place to place and you’ll spend a little more time on the meal than you normally would, which puts you that much closer to your departure time. Plus, if you’re buying separate things at separate places, you’ll get charged a la carte, which can be less expensive than a whole meal.

Send A Postcard

With a little searching, you can find a postcard that loved ones at home will love. Whether it’s a picture of the city skyline or a major attraction from the city whose airport you’re stuck in, your family or friends will appreciate that you were thinking of them. Whether you’re leaving just for the weekend or going away for several weeks, postcards sent early in the trip will make it home before you do and spread some cheer. It may take some hunting, but chances are you can find a store that sells postcard stamps in the terminal. And most airports have mail drop boxes, too. Ask a staff member if you need help finding them.

If you’re feeling really creative, find a souvenir to mail and create a piece of postal art. I once mailed a papier mache pear to a friend from college….make sure it will fit in a mail slot, though.

Watch TV

I don’t mean your own shows on your phone, or ones that you’ve downloaded from streaming platforms. But the ones that are on the airport TV screens that you don’t have any choice over. You might learn something, and they can be really interesting. You never know if you’ll catch a CNN special on the aftermath of world events you remember from 5 years ago.... or national surfing competitions.


If you’re an introvert or suffer from anxiety disorders (or even just don’t like loud noises), then being in large groups of people with lots of noise can overwhelm you in a hurry. Instead of subjecting yourself to possible panic attacks and issues for an extra long time during a layover that turns lengthy, find a quieter place.

Explore and find the quiet gates where things aren’t as busy. You can relax in the empty seats and the lack of foot traffic, keeping an eye on the screens to make sure no changes have been made to your flight. When it gets close to boarding time, then return to your own gate.

Traveling Is Fun...Right?

Layovers make everyone groan. Don’t let your flight delay ruin your trip. If you choose some of these fun things to do, you’ll pass the time faster and be much more chipper once you actually board the flight. Our 3 ½ hour delay a few weekends ago gave me lots of time to spend coming up with interesting ideas of how to pass the time.

Pro tip: If you’re going on a cruise or traveling somewhere sunny and forgot to buy sunscreen, it’s better to pay higher-than-normal airport prices than exorbitant and excruciatingly painful prices when you arrive at the ship or ports of call. A long delay is a good time to stock up.

What’s the longest you’ve ever been delayed for a flight? What did you do to pass the time? Leave me a comment and let me know!

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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