Spend a lot of time in the terminal? We introduce ten tips for a happier airport experience.
As airlines increasingly ask passengers to be at the airports earlier to check-in, the time we spend in airports is increasing.
Clearly the airport you are will dictate what facilities are available; a wait in Singapore’s Changi Airport is going to be rather more pleasant than hauling round Heathrow, but nevertheless, there is always something to occupy the time.
1. Catch up on correspondence
Most airports have wireless access these days, so get out the laptop, get online and get writing to all those people that you have been meaning to catch up with for ages but not got round to.
2. Pre-order a new gadget – pick up in Duty Free
Do your research, and there are bargains to be found in airport shops. Having picked it your latest iCamerapadphone, you will have plenty of time to (reluctantly) read the instruction manual so you have mastered it by the time you arrive at your destination.
3. Go to a VIP Lounge
VIP lounges are not just the preserve of those flying close to the pilots: find out if it is possible to buy a pass to these and enjoy the comforts and facilities they offer. The prices may be more reasonable than you think too, and with complementary food, magazines and other goodies, they can be worth the spend.
4. Give yourself something to look forward to
Perhaps you’ve been waiting for the latest offering from your favourite author or actor but been putting it off. Buy yourself a copy of their novel or film, and save it for when you have some time on your hands – and the airport is the perfect moment.
5. Grab a bite to eat and a drink
Depending on where you are, it is possible to find some really good airport food. It generally comes at a price mind you, but even if it is a burger and chips, it still kills a bit of time before you fly.
6. Make some calls
Like the emails, there are always people you really should have phoned and haven’t (mum and dad are always a good start or the travel insurance firm you meant to ring). This is a good time to be the dutiful child, friend or customer – watch the roaming charges if you are abroad though.
7. Get yourself a multimedia gizmo
Be it a laptop or a tablet PC, these things come into their own when you are travelling – games, email, films, music, the internet, eBooks – all these things are available and the time will soon pass as you explore their range of capabilities
8. Do some exercise
Many airports offer gym facilities and whilst the extra kit is a pain to take through security, a pair of shorts and a top doesn’t take up much space and you can always travel in your trainers.
9. Have a massage and relax
Again, these services are increasingly offered in the more modern airports and if you’re a nervous flyer, then this is a good way to calm the nerves before take off.
10. Perform some people watching
Most of us lead pretty hectic lives so make the most of this comparatively peaceful time. Put on your headphones, sit back and think about the journey you are going to make.