What to do when you’re stuck in an airport all day

Working as a Flight Attendant, especially living in a city different than the one I work in, I spend a stupid amount of time waiting around in airports. When I commute home I fly standby, so sometimes that means I finish work and still have to wait 10+ hours till I’m able to make it on a flight home. I’ve basically earned expert status at occupying time in airports so I thought I’d share some of the things that keep me busy.

1. Hit up the airport gym or get some walking in

A lot of big international airports have gyms that you can pay to use for the day. The one in Pearson International (YYZ) is super nice. The lockers are big enough to fit your suitcase, and you can shower and get ready for your flight once you’re done. Plus they have massage chairs so if you really have a lot of time you could get a decent work out in AND spend time lounging in a massage chair. You’ll feel so much better getting a workout in during what’s normally such a huge waste of time. If you don’t want to pay for the day pass you can always just walk around the airport and get some steps in. If I’m stuck in the airport all day I’ll try and walk from terminal end to end rather than just sitting and watching Netflix all day.

2. Hit up a lounge

It might be worth paying for a day pass to a lounge if you’re going to be stuck at the airport all day. You’ll have free food and drinks and you’ll be in an area that’s quiet and relaxing. In some lounges you’ll even have access to a shower so you can freshen up before catching your flight.

3. Go for tea or coffee

Why not grab a book and go to David’s Tea or Starbucks? Grab a table where you can sit and enjoy your drink while people watching (HIGHLY entertaining in airports), read a book, or if you’re like me – blog about being stuck in an airport.

4. Explore the stores and duty free

Even if you don’t want to buy anything, you can kill a lot of time by just browsing the duty free and other stores in airports. YYZ has everything from MAC cosmetics to Apple products!

5. Get your shoes shined

How many times have you been asked if you wanted a shoe shine at the airport? Well guess what, I’ve done it. They’re actually relatively cheap (around $15) and they do a really great job.

6. Bring donuts to the guest service counter

Often when I’m stuck in an airport for a long time it’s because there’s lots of delays and cancellations.. which means that the guest service desk usually has a long long line of unhappy people with missed connections and travel plans. The people who work here are the real heroes. They help so many people and they are working very very hard (for probably not a whole lot of money) especially on these kinds of days. Do a good deed and go get some donuts or treats for them and kindly drop it off. I’m sure it would make their day!

7. Go explore the city

If you have enough time, go explore the city you’re waiting in!! A lot of airports have stores where you can pay a daily fee to drop your bags off while you head downtown. These stores are outside of security and are usually the ones that sell suitcases and bags. If you google the airport your in + luggage storage you’ll find the one for that airport! In YYZ you can store your bags in the Samosite stores outside security in either Terminal 1 or 3. Then you don’t need to worry about carrying them around all day and you can go have fun downtown!

May all your airport waits be a little more entertaining (and a lot more productive)!

xx, S

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