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5 Ways to Reduce Stress during a Flight Delay or Layover

Whether you have a bad 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 grub 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 have a roll-on and can hack the walk with your luggage, great. Otherwise, leave your luggage with a colleague or travel companion at your departure gate. You may even be able to rent luggage lockers. 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 that we’ve been seeing more and more of in airports. Get a quick massage, a manicure or a pedicure to decompress. Xpres Spa has locations all over the country and in the Netherlands; and they continue to expand.
  3. Get in a Workout: I’m not going to lie…this is not a common amenity. However, 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 workout, it is worth it if it will help you to release stress from your trip.
  4. Get in a Nap: If you are fortunate enough to have a flight with the layover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), you can take advantage of the Minute Suites outlet located in Concourse B. 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. Unique Retreat is due to come out with an offering at SFO – San Francisco International and 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 child or spouse, a great way to take your mind off of a flight delay is to do a little thoughtful shopping.

How do you reduce tension during the layover or flight delay?

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