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How to Survive an Airport Layover

There’s nothing worse than hearing your flight is delayed—a lot. An airport layover is no one’s idea of a good, much less an hours’ long one. What are you going to do if you’re stuck and there’s nothing you can do about it? We have a few ideas.

If you four hours or less… 

Scout your terminal. Check out apps like Airport Sherpa, LoungeBuddy or GateGuru to find good eats near you—it’s not going to be cheap, but the least you can do is make sure it’s tasty! Also, airports nowadays have evolved and offer some pretty interesting amenities (apart from the standard chapel), including yoga rooms, concerts, and express spas to freshen up that manicure or get those knots worked out of your shoulders. If it’s closer to three or four hours than one, consider your airline’s lounge—even if you’re not a member many offer day passes from about $50. Think snacks, drinks, comfortable seats, free WiFi… Some even have access to computers and showers.

If you have between four and 8 hours… 

Certain airports have come up with very cool pod-style cubicles for travelers needed a place to rest their weary heads in privacy (check out Sleeping in Airports). These can be rented out by the hour or the night—some even have showers, HDTVs, and work desks with WiFi. If it’s closer to eight hours rather than four, you might want to spring for an airport hotel and room service.

If you have more than 8 hours…

Stow your luggage in the airport locker, book an Uber and head out! Airlines have been launching layover programs (Air Canada, TAP Air Portugal, Quatar Airways) with free tours of local sites and some even add in free accommodations (check airline websites for details). Or, you can always ask Siri to “find tourism attractions near me”—you’ll be surprised at what she can come up with!



Lydia Gregory (253 Posts)

With a background that includes stints on the mastheads of an eclectic collection of Spanish- and English-language magazines, Lydia continues to indulge her love of writing and travel as Strategic Content/Social Media Manager for SkyMed International.

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