Generally speaking, it’s advised that people arrive at the airport at least an hour or two before their flight. Why? Because flight schedules are prone to change and you may very well need to leave sooner than you originally thought. For that matter, you could find yourself caught up in a TSA line that takes longer to move than you imagined.
It’s better safe than sorry, but you may find yourself passing through security with a good bit of time to kill. So what should you do when passing time in an airport as you wait for your flight?
1. Grab A Bite To Eat
A lot of airports today feature restaurants. While you shouldn’t try to sneak food through security (as this could end up making you late for your flight), you can grab a bite to eat once you’ve gotten past the TSA and have access to an airport’s vending machines and restaurants. Some airport restaurants are fast casual, while others are bit more upscale. It’s certainly not uncommon for them to serve alcohol. However, you should make sure that you don’t try any foods that are unfamiliar to you before the flight. If sushi might upset your stomach, you might not want to try it for the first time in an airport. Don’t overindulge in alcohol either, as nobody wants to be that disruptive flier! But eating a little or sipping on a drink to calm any nerves you may have is a good way to pass time until it’s time for you to fly.
2. Go Shopping
Did you forget something when you were packing ahead of your flight? Is it possible that you need a toothbrush for your travels? Or could you simply use a book to read while on the plane? Airports know that flight schedules can change, resulting in you waiting hours for a delayed flight to take off. For that reason, airports are often full of shops featuring everything from toiletries to gifts. You may want to browse through and see if there’s anything that will help you kill some time. Some airports feature more shops than others. For example, a central Illinois airport might not be quite as expansive as an airport in New York City. But generally, you should find some great shops to look through.
3. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Flying can be stressful for many, due to changing airport flight schedules and general flight anxieties. As such, you may want to take advantage of relaxation techniques as you wait for your flight to take off. There are a lot of things that you can do which don’t require a lot of space and aren’t attention-grabbing. Consider meditating, for example. This requires simply closing your eyes, relaxing your body, and perhaps humming quietly if need be. Listen to calming music through your headphones or take advantage of any anti-stress services offered by the airport itself. The San Francisco International Airport hired the world’s first airport therapy pig named Lilou. Wearing costumes and performing tricks, Lilou helps passengers calm down before flights take off. While the Springfield airport authority may offer different services, you should look into whether or not it features anything that may help you calm down.
4. Get Some Work Done
It’s a good idea for you to handle any work that you may need to get done ahead of your flight or your travels. This is why you should bring your work laptop along as a carry-on item. Even if your flight schedule is delayed, you can turn this into a positive situation by actually getting more work done. You might even get ahead with your work and may be in a better position to relax during your trip. This should be considered as you plan out what you’re bringing with you. While some items are better left in checked luggage, others need to be available to you as you wait.
You may find yourself waiting for your flight to take off for less time than you originally anticipated — or you may be waiting longer than you might think. Either way, you should plan ahead and determine ways to pass the time as you wait. This way, you’ll avoid anxieties and turn an inconvenience into an advantage.