6 Tips for When You’re Stranded at an Airport
Having a massive layover or is your flight indefinitely canceled? Maybe you’re auditioning for a lead role in the The Terminal sequel?
Whatever the reason for being stuck there, you just have to accept the fact that, for the time being, this airport is your home now.
So, how do you approach this problem without losing your wits?
We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but there are a few things that you can try to make this experience as painless as possible.
So, if you ever find yourself in a pickle, we recommend keeping in mind these few helpful tips:
- Be Prepared (For the Worst)
Not to be a Negative Nancy, but we’re all aware of all the potential risks that can occur when traveling – your flight can get canceled or postponed, there might be an issue with your passport or visa and it’s quite possible that the immigration figured out that you were trying to smuggle out that cute stray puppy in your backpack…
These are all viable reasons to get stranded at the airport and you never know just how long it will take until the problem finally gets resolved.
That being said, it’s always important to prepare yourself for the worst to come. Yes, that means packing the essentials, but also, maybe even more crucial – keeping a clear head!
Nobody will benefit from the extra stress, especially not you and if you’re a generally anxious person, perhaps it would be a good idea to carry something to reduce the symptoms.
This might be a trinket that reminds you of home, a playlist of your favorite tunes or a tiny bottle of essential oils to keep you relaxed.
Whatever works for you!
Another way to make sure you’re always expecting the unexpected is to properly equip yourself.
Regardless of how long the flight is supposed to be, always carry a backpack packed with essentials.
These necessities should include:
- Toiletry Bag (toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, wet wipes etc.)
- Portable Water Bottle (do you know how much a water bottle costs at the airport?)
- Snacks (better opt for something nutritious and healthy)
- Comfy Clothes (don’t forget undergarments!)
- Charger and adapter
- Money (even if you’re used to paying everything by card, having some cash can be quite handy)
- Books (laptop, kindle, basically anything to pass the time)
These are some of the things to always have close by in case of emergency. You can always add some additional trinkets and things that can help you get the most out of a situation like this.
And remember – it’s always darkest before dawn!
- Find Out if the Airport You’re Heading to Has an Offer You Can’t Refuse
One of the best things you can do is make your time at the airport as enjoyable as possible. Head over to the information or help desk and try to find out what kind of amenities the airport has to offer.
This is a great way to get some general information about the airport, but also keep track of some useful things like discounts, stores, lounges, sleeping pods etc.
Chances are that the airport you’re stuck at has a cinema, gallery, pool, fitness studio or some other awesome content that can make this situation a little less aggravating.
Basically, if you’re stuck, why not be stuck in style?
If you’re stranded for a longer period of time, you might want to check whether you’re allowed to actually leave the airport and explore the city. This might require a transit visa, so it’s better to do your research thoroughly.
Another thing that could alleviate the situation is to inform yourself about your rights as a passenger, as well as the policy of the airline.
You just might be entitled to a free hotel room, a meal voucher or some compensation for the delay, so make sure not to miss some of these commodities if possible.
- InLounge Yourself
Even if you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to consider buying a lounge pass.
Although the prices can be quite steep, sometimes buying a one-day lounge pass can turn out to be more cost-effective than to roam around the airport sliding your credit card on every corner.
Once you consider the cost of the airport food, drinks and other commodities, you just might be getting a better deal by splurging on a pass.
Not all lounges offer the same things, but some of the basics include comfy chairs, free wifi, quiet rooms, free drinks and snacks and sometimes even showers!
The best option is to approach the official lounge desk and inform yourself of their offers, prices, memberships etc. This way you’ll know whether you’re getting your money’s worth!
- When in Doubt – Take a Nap
If everything else fails, you can always turn to your best friend – sleep!
Even if you’re an expert yogi, you might have trouble getting into the right sleeping position in one of those hard airport chairs. If you are lucky enough to have brought a travel pillow for the journey things would be uncomplicated. Not to be concerned though, as most airports have specially designated sleeping areas for weary travelers that include reclinable chairs, dim lights, sound insulation etc.
Be wary though – these areas are usually packed to the bone so you might want to be quick! Nevertheless, if you’re unlucky and can’t find a place for yourself, you can always consider renting a sleeping pod instead!
The prices can vary quite a bit, but it’s always a good thing to have a second choice if you really need to get some rest.
- Do Some Work
While most of us tend to procrastinate even when we’re supposed to work, these unfortunate circumstances just might spark your productivity!
This is the perfect time to answer those emails, catch up on the latest news, learn a new language or write a blog about how being stranded on the airport changed your life forever.
It’s also a helpful point to add to your resume afterwards, noting how you’re a tenacious worker able to conduct tasks even in the most stress-inducing conditions with limited resources.
How’s that for a skill?
- Be Polite
Last, but certainly not least, try your best to be as polite and courteous as possible.
This may seem challenging considering the situation, but it can definitely make a difference.
If you’re nice to the airport staff, they just might decide to help you out by booking you to the next available flight or let you know in on a special deal that’s unknown to many.
Don’t be that customer and demand everything resolved in a jiffy. The workers on the counter are not responsible for your delay, but they might be able to assist you – if you give them a reason to.
Being kind and patient can go a long way.
Being stranded at the airport can be a real nightmare, but with the right set of resources and a little bit of patience, you can survive this without going through too much trouble.
Remember these things the next time you start planning a vacation, as you never know what might happen.
And whatever you do – try not to smuggle puppies through customs!