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Flight Delayed? 10 Ways to Beat Airport Boredom

There are few things as boring as waiting for a plane in the airport. When you’re caught in a layover, you really have nowhere to go. You can’t leave the airport, and you can’t get on your next flight before the scheduled time. So, you’ve got to come up with ways to keep yourself entertained.

Spot Planes

One of the most underrated games to play in an airport is the “spot the plane” game. Bone up on your knowledge of plane types and then see if you can guess what the models are as they touch down and take off. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can get the whole family involved. If you’re alone, work up the courage to ask that cute guy or gal next to you if they want to play.

They might actually know a lot about planes themselves. It could be an interesting sort of one-off private game between the both of you.

Bring Your Kindle

Reading is always an option and, if you’re an avid reader, this one will pass the time like nothing else. Even if you have several hours to kill, it’s nearly impossible to read an entire book. If you have a kindle, nook, or any other e-reader with you, you actually have hundreds of books in the palm of your hand. That will solve just about any layover problem you’re facing.

And, because e-readers have long battery lives, you generally don’t have to worry about draining the device before it’s time to hop on the plane. If you’re using something with an LCD backlit screen, that’s another matter.

Download Some YouTube Videos

If you’re more of a video person, a few hours of video will solve your dilemma. The only problem with video is that streaming drains the battery on most mobile devices, especially mobile phones. So, download some videos and then use a YouTube video converter to convert them to the format native to your hardware. For example, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll need something that can play on those devices. If you’re a Windows user, it’ll need to be playable by Windows Media Player or whatever media player you have installed.

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Your biggest concern with downloading and converting videos should be copyright protection. Remember to respect IP if and when using downloaded content and don’t violate any copyright laws or your trip could be a short one.

Go Shopping

Maybe you’re out of staple foods at home. You want to make sure that, when you arrive, there’s a package there for you. If you purchase an item with a guaranteed shipping date, online shopping is a viable way to pass the time. For example, if you have Amazon Prime, you pretty much know that items will get to you within two days. And, you can usually tell whether an item is ready to ship before you make the purchase so there’s no guesswork on that part.


People-watching is a favorite pastime of psychologists, but anyone can enjoy it if you know what to look for. Most of the time, people-watching requires that you have an intense curiosity about the lives of other people. You should also have a keen eye and good observation for unusual events. Simply watching people interact with each other, and paying attention to how people spend their time alone, can help you better understand your fellow man or woman. It can also be very entertaining.

Play Online

If the airport has electrical plugins or charging areas, you can play games or surf online. These days, most people don’t go very long without being on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or some other social networking site. They’re addictive and, if you’re feeling lonely, they can make you feel like you’re traveling with friends.

And, many airports have free wi-fi, so you won’t be eating up your data package surfing the net.

If you’re into the online multiplayer games, it might be thrilling to play while you’re waiting for your plane to take off. You could even let people know that you have to complete the mission within an allotted time frame because you have to make your flight.

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Practice A New Language

With apps like Duolingo, you can learn a new language at the airport. It’s a fun little app that teaches you a new language, like French or Spanish, by having you speak it, write it, and translate sentences from your native language to the target language and vice versa.

You earn points for each lesson you complete and some of those points translate into “lingots.” Those lingots can then be used to purchase in-app items. They can even be used to expand the game’s features.

For example, if you learn enough lingots while taking the Spanish language course, you can learn how to flirt. Talk about fun. It can be one of the best uses of your time if you’re going out of the country and you want to brush up on the local language.

Listen To Music

If you just need some down time, there are few better ways to relax than to listen to music. Bring a collection of your favorites and load them up on your MP3 player (i.e. iPod). You could also take this time to expose yourself to new music and genres that you’ve never experienced before.

Take a Nap

Sometimes what you really need is a nap. If it’s been a long day, try taking a snooze. Just make sure you set an alarm 15 minutes before your plane boards. You don’t want to miss your flight.

Make a Friend

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It might seem like an odd place to make friends, but the person next to you might have some interesting stories to share. Interacting with people, and striking up a conversation, is also a great skill to have. It may make you uncomfortable at first, but the person you end up chatting with could end up boarding their plane with an improved attitude or a more benevolent view of humanity.

Who knows, you might just meet your future partner or spouse.

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