Travel – Surviving Delayed Flights

What to do when you’re stuck in the airport around the holidays

Over the next few weeks, I’m sure many of you will be traveling via plane to Celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, or just PTO with family, friends, and loved ones. In a perfect world, you’ll wiz through TSA, leisurely make your way to your departure gate, and have the perfect flight. If you’re one of the lucky few, know that the rest of your fellow travelers probably hate you. If you’re the person who misses their connecting flight due to weather, finds their flight delayed because a crew member is sick, or the skyways just happen to be too congested here’s how you can kill some time.

8 ways to pass time and survive a delayed flight this holiday #travel season

Catch Up on Email

If you seem to never have an empty inbox, this might be a good time to clear it out. If you know you have an hour or so until your flight takes off, why not get rid of those pesky emails that don’t require much brain power to respond to. You might even be helping someone complete their to-do list.


If you aren’t a knitter, being stuff in the airport might not be the best time to start. But if you’re a professional knitter or do it in spare time, pull those needles out of your carry on and get those stitches right and tight. Who knows by the time you board your flight you might have a potential gift for a loved one.

Read a Book

If you aren’t easily distracted, now is the time to return to the book you carry around with you on flights. You know the one that’s still stuck on page 145 out of 522. You swear you’re going to finish it one day, so why not make one day today ( or the day air control decides you’re stuck in New York for three more hours).

Get a Massage

Sitting in those chairs,  telling your significant other you don’t know when you’ll make it in, or trying to find overnight accommodations can be stressful. It might call for an emergency massage. The airports I frequent the most MCO(Orlando), RDU(Raleigh), LGA(New York), ATL ( Atlanta) have XpresaSpa. I’ve never tried out their services, but whenever I pass by the customer seem to be having a pleasant experience.





Let’s be honest, having a delayed flight can be stressful. It might mean missing your connecting flight, limited time with your loved ones once you reach your destination, or absorbing all the negative energy around you. You don’t have to sit with your legs crossed and a blanket over your head for complete darkness, but you can meditate in the middle of the airport. Find a seat, pick a soothing tune, close your eyes and clear out your brain. It’s a good mental reset.

Start a New Series

When in doubt, watch a TV show. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video now allow customers to download select series and movies to view offline. So if there’s a show or movie you’ve been dying to watch, make sure to download it to your device before departure. If you need some suggestions and have unlimited data to burn on streaming, feel free to check on shows on my Netflix & Knit list or just tweet me. I’ll likely response while you’re stranded in the airport.

Play a Game

If you aren’t traveling alone, you and your travel buddy should play a game if you haven’t driven each other crazy. When I was at Disney, Bijan and I played Ellen’s Heads Up game. It’s a great way to get some laughs and get your blood flowing if you’re as dramatic as I am. The great thing about technology is having so many game apps you can download to keep you entertained.

Roam the Airport

During 2016 fall break I took a trip to Detroit to visit some family. While I had no delayed flights, I took some time to roam around the airport. It’s super clean. I swear it is the cleanest American airport I’ve set foot in. They have amazing, local food options as well as familiar chains for those who don’t like new things. If you know how long your flight is delayed and you’re stuck in a sizeable airport look around. Some airports allow you to venture off to different terminals so take advantage of those perks. You might find cute photo opportunities, stumble upon some live music,  discover nice overpriced trinkets to purchase or find yummy meal options to fill your belly.


That’s all I have folks. I’d love to know if there’s anything you do to kill time in the airport or even while stuck on the runway.


Aitza B



  • I learned to knit when I was pregnant with my son and I take my knitting everywhere! I’ve been trying to find a plane-friendly way to store multiple skeins of yarn and use the same bag as my purse though so I can keep my carry on. Any ideas?

    • Aitza B

      Hi Tiffany, one thing I started doing is putting skeins in cosmetic bags inside my tote bag. That gives me room to store the bag under my seat in flight and pull out a contained amount as I knit. Hope that helps you and thanks so much for commenting!

  • These are some great tips! I always hate it when the layover is already over an hour and then it gets delayed! Yikes! I avoid traveling this time of year because of this! These are some awesome tips I’ll have to try the next time I get delayed!

    • Aitza B

      I once had a 7 hour delayed flight. You learn to get creative after that. Thanks so much for commenting m, Katriza. Hope you have a lovely holiday season

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  • Elizabeth O

    These are all great tips. Having delayed flights is so stressful. Reading books and meditate it is one that helps prevent my boredom while waiting for the flight.

  • Omgeeee I love this post and let me tell you I don’t knit but I have just taken up hand embroidery. HOLLA and now it is one of my favorite pass times especially while traveling. I loved this post and all the other ideas like starting a new series. I see from your Netflix and Knit that you are starting some cool new series anyone in particular you would advise me to watch first?

    • Aitza B

      Oooh I Love go see your embroidery work. I keep saying I’ll try that out once I get a handle on knitting and sewing.

      Definitely check out Outlander first. It starts sloooow, but once it picks up ooh wee.

  • Layovers and delays always suck. I am flying to Cape Town this week and going to have a 10 hours layover in Istanbul. I saved a lot of work in order to do some work on my Laptop at the airport. So I know the time is going to fly.

  • I seriously love roaming airports when my flight is delayed, especially if I’m in a foreign country. You never know what you may come across! I also always bring my sketchbook to doodle in when traveling for those delayed flights and long plane rides with shite in-flight entertainment and no wifi. The more annoyed I am by the delayed definitely comes out in my doodles though haha

  • delayed flights don’t piss me off that much, most especially, if it’s a long travel. it’s a perfect opportunity for me to rest from my fears of flying. i love to roam around the airports, read books, take pictures, try on simple foods available around and/or simply gossip with my companion (lol) whenever my flight gets delayed.

  • I love exploring and roaming around the airport and of course shopping at the duty free 😉 but delayed flights mean I arrive later than I’d planned so I get so tired when I arrive at my final destination!

  • I don’t fly often, but the times that I have, I have been fortunate enough to have flights that were on time. I usually travel with a book and my ipad, so I have plenty to do to kill time.

    • Aitza B

      Bringing the iPad is always key. I hope your travel luck continues and rubs off on me.

  • These are great ideas. I’ve deff roamed the airport in the past and somehow always end up in the candy store! haha and netflix is never a bad idea 🙂 Deff thankful for technology!

    Thanks for sharing these great tips 🙂


    • Aitza B

      I’m always looking for something sweet, yet I’ve never thought of looking for a candy shop. I’m definitely adding that to my list. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathleen.

  • Sometimes I like a longer layover to walk around the airport. It helps between long flights to be able to stretch my legs, catch up on work/emails, and get a drink!

    • Aitza B

      I don’t know how I forgot getting a drink. That definitely is a perk of a longer layover. Thanks so much for commenting, Lauren.