Working at an airport has given me a different view of traveling. I have seen people act like petulant children when things don’t go according to plan, and I have seen gate agents treat paying passengers like they were dirt.
Emotions run high when there are severe delays and when you are stuck at an airport because of bad weather, there really isn’t much you can do. Airplanes cannot fly if the weather doesn’t meet certain requirements, that’s just the rules and being stressed out about it won’t help you.
Here are 5 ways to alleviate stress if you are stuck at an airport and you’re feeling like you want to punch someone in the face.
1. Get a room. There are many airports that have hotels inside of them. If you know you will be at the airport all day and can’t leave, book a room and get away from the crowds. It’s worth the cost to not have to deal with hundreds of people and the noise of incessantly loud cell phone conversations that you don’t care anything about. I see people laying on the floor of airports all of the time and that doesn’t seem comfortable and it’s not hygienic by any means. So, if you have the option, get a room and relax.
2. Buy a book. I have yet to be in an airport that doesn’t have a bookstore. Many of them now have a read and return policy which means if you buy a book and bring it back to the bookstore (not the same one, any bookstore that participates in the program) you can get half of your money back. I don’t know about you but reading is a great way to escape the chaos of life, especially in an airport.
3. Buy a day pass in an airport lounge. There are many lounges that will let you buy a day pass. United, Delta, Alaska, American, and US Airways are just a few that have lounges that you can buy a one-time day pass. There are several others, this is not a complete list so if you are stuck in an airport, walk around and see what the possibilities are for you. There are also some credit cards (usually gold or platinum status) that have partnerships with airport lounges that will allow you to enter lounges free of charge.
4. Write a complaint letter. Ok, stay with me on this one. More than likely if you are stuck in an airport you have probably dealt with horrible customer service from gate agents. I have no idea why customer service is so bad but it is and it doesn’t discriminate.
I heard one gate agent tell a passenger after he asked “Where is Dallas?” say, “Texas.” And she wasn’t being funny. Some gate agents are so rude it’s embarrassing when I see them interacting with customers. One way to deal with this is by keeping your cool and taking names. Don’t send an email, send an actual letter.
You can use some of your time while waiting in the airport to write a complaint letter. Companies respond to mail, and you will probably get some goodies in return for the ridiculous treatment you received from their employees.
5. Have a nice meal. Believe it or not, there are some pretty good restaurants in airports and you can have a delicious meal. Skip the fast food section and get a table in a restaurant, just being able to sit down and look at your options and have a drink or two can help you de-stress.
I see most people getting fast food and eating in the boarding area. That doesn’t interest me at all. When I have time I like to sit down and enjoy my food. Check out the dining options on the map in the airport you are stuck in. There are usually several dining possibilities that most people bypass. If you have several hours, why not sit down and relax?
Have you ever been stuck at an airport? Do you get stressed when there are travel delays?