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Flight Delays during Holiday Travel: How to Cope

‘Tis the season for holiday travel! As fun as a trip to celebrate the holidays can be, flight delays and layovers can become a real drag. If you find yourself having a terrible flight delay or a really long layover, time sitting in the airport can be far from relaxing.

When travel plans are thrown off course, the stress can take a big toll. And although stopping for a drink and some food in the concourse bar and grill might seem like a good way to pass the time, we all know it isn’t the healthiest.

As a result, consider the following healthier ideas to pass time and reduce tension during downtime at the airport.

  1. Do Concourse Laps: Terminals and concourses can cover miles in distance.  For instance, at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Terminal B and C are connected via a huge Mall and Shop area. If you walk from the end of Concourse B (gate B14) to Concourse C (Gate C27), you’ll walk almost 1/2 a mile. Making the full lap about one mile. To reduce tension during the layover or flight delay, walk a few laps. If you are traveling with family and have a lot of luggage, you can take turns going for a walk so someone can watch luggage as the other person releases some stress. If you are traveling alone, however, either look for lockers if you have a lot of luggage, or carry the luggage with you (burns extra calories!). Just remember, don’t take the people movers during your walk…that would be cheating!
  2. Go to the Spa: Xpres Spa is a wonderful amenity in airports. And, there footprint continues to expand. They have locations throughout the Northeast, the rest of the US and even in the Netherlands. And, they have many locations soon to open. Get a quick massage, a manicure or a pedicure to decompress. If Xpres Spa (or any other spa-like facility) doesn’t exist at your layover / delayed airport, then consider trading massages with the friends or loved ones with whom you’re traveling.
  3. Get in a Workout: Although this isn’t as common of an amenity, there are several airport hotels that boast a fairly decent gym (locate them at Also McCarran International in Las Vegas has a 24 Hour Fitness located inside the terminal. Even if you can squeeze in just a half hour walk or run on the treadmill, you’ll be able to release some stress.
  4. Get in a Nap: If you are fortunate enough to have a flight with a layover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) or Philadelphia International (PHL), you can take advantage of Minute Suites. You can rent a mini-suite for a short nap, to work or to relax. A few other companies are starting to pop-up with similar concepts domestically. Edo Traveler Suites are proposing concepts throughout Canada and the USA. Although the concept is new in North America, these offerings have been around for some time internationally. If the flight delay or the layover occurs at an airport with no napping rooms, consider getting a day pass at an Airline Club for a little shut-eye.
  5. Run Your Errands: Finally, if you forgot to pick up something for your loved ones, a great way to take your mind off of a flight delay is to do a little thoughtful shopping, especially if you are staying with relatives.

Find what helps you relieve tension and go with it!

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Posted in Mind-Body, Travel Tagged with: , , , , ,