Last year, I had the opportunity to go home for a week for the first time since I started college. By home, I mean the country of my birth Ghana. My flight from JFK was to leave at 4 PM, and my shuttle from Philly was to leave at 9 AM. The afternoon shuttle to NYC would mean that I would have to miss my flight. It takes two hours to drive from Philly to NYC, but with other pickups and drop-offs, the ride would take approximately three hours, meaning I had to stay at the airport for four hours including the time I used for check-in. Weirdly, there were very few pick-ups and drop-offs so the ride lasted less than two and half hours and with the check-in and immigration lines moving fast, I was at my gate faster than I expected. From noon until 4 PM I was at the gate sitting and waiting, meaning I had to entertain myself. Over those four hours, I thought of ways anybody could keep busy at an airport.
How to pass time at the airport
- Get a meal: Let’s be honest, most airline food is much worse than we would like it. The airport is one place you can grab the few things that you forgot to put in your carry on for snacking. They make all the difference when you are unable to eat what is served on the flight (especially if it’s a long one).
- Use the facilities: The bathroom on a flight is one of my least favorite things about flying. It’s easier for me to get on with an empty bladder and not have to use the bathroom more times than necessary.
- Read a book: The best way to help the time pass quickly is to get lost in someone else’s story.
- Shop (sensibly and within reason): I found one of my favorite shirts in Heathrow during my layover and it only recently came online at Zara. Score!
- Keep in touch: Facetime and text or call the friends and family you left behind or call those who are going to meet you up to keep them updated on your trip.
Passing time at the airport is inevitable, whether it’s for your single flight or a layover and at any airport. Later loves!