Anyone who enjoys a holiday is likely to experience an airport delay at one time or another, and those who opt for a fly-criuse might be faced with this problem one day. No doubt your first concern will be how the delay will affect your ongoing travel - and specifically embarkation of the cruise ship. Our cruise agents keep a watchful eye on any travel delays, however in this instance it's always advisable to make contact with your tour operator when you are given the information of the delay - whether this be our team or the cruise line. Informing the tour operater means they will then be able to offer assistance as quickly as possible.
After you have made contact with the tour operator, and logistical arrangements have been taken care of, the next thing to consider will be how on earth to while away the time. Whether it’s for 2 hours or 24 hours, there’s no getting away from the fact that a delay is always going to be an irritating occurrence. Having said this, there are plenty of ways to beat the blues, and make the best of the situation; here are our top tips for surviving an airport delay.
1. Take emergency snacks
While it’s rarely possible to plan for a delay, bringing a few extra goodies with you can certainly do no harm. When departing from the UK, foods like fruit, crisps, biscuits, and sandwiches can all be taken through customs as long as they are wrapped or in a container. Liquids such as dip, soup, and yoghurt are prohibited. Be sure to check local information when departing from foreign airports.
2. Take a foldable stool in your hand luggage
One of the most irritating things that can happen when you're forced to wait at an airport is for there to be no available seating. Intead of being forced to take a pew on the floor, or merely staying stood up, take a foldable travel or camping stool. Be sure to check your size allowances for hand luggage, but usually these will fold up small enough to fit inside.
3. Bring a travel games and a notepad and pen
If you haven’t brought any with you, fortunately most airports stock a selection of games and activity books. Choose from things like word-searches, crosswords, and Sudoku, or if you want something more interactive, travel-size board games like Scrabble, Guess Who, and Connect 4 are particularly popular. A simple notepad and pen can be a real lifeline when faced with boredom. If you’re travelling with others, these enable you to play games like hangman, noughts and crosses, and dots and boxes. Or, if travelling alone, why not set about planning various aspects of your trip? Or get a head start on your Christmas gift list? Or even begin a travel journal?
4. Bring mini-toiletries
When you’re forced to sit and wait for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than feeling grimy and stuffy at the same time. For this reason, it’s advisable to pack a few small toiletries in your hand luggage. As long as everything is under 100ml, items like deodorant, dry-shampoo, wipes, and a toothbrush and toothpaste can help you feel refreshed again.
5. Consider an airport lounge pass
If you’re going to be stuck for a good few hours, think about purchasing a pass to access one of the airport’s lounges. These areas tend to have a completely different atmosphere to the rest of the airport – one of comfort and calmness. Lounges are perfect for relaxing with a book and a drink, and many of them offer amenities like complimentary snacks and good quality WiFi.
6. Explore the airport
Whether or not you’re interested in planes, airports can be interesting and exciting places. Many boast unexpected features that you simply won’t find unless you go looking - take care not to wander into any restricted areas though. As well as celebrity-chef restaurants, spas, galleries, and even movie theatres, other facilities include:
• Rooftop Pool, Singapore Changi Airport
• 30,000 Gallon Aquarium, Vancouver International Airport
• Sports Equipment to Hire, Zurich Airport
• Yoga Studio, San Francisco International Airport
• 9hole Golf Course, Hong Kong International Airport
7. Catch up with someone
Though an airport delay rarely seems like a good thing, an optimist would tell you you’ve been given the gift of time. With this positivity in mind, you can begin to think of valuable ways to use it. One great option is to get in touch with a loved one. Reply to those messages that you haven’t had time for until now, or send a nice long email to your aunt. Spending a few hours on the phone with an old friend or sibling will also help while away the time. Make sure you pack chargers for your devices too - there are usually ports available for you to plug in when you need to.
Of course no one ever wants to experience a delay at an airport, but unfortunately they are hard to predict and can be simply unavoidable at times. Having said this, if this truly is the stuff of your nightmares, and might even stop you from wanting to go on holiday, it is possible to avoid the situation completely. Consider opting for a no-fly cruise for your next break, and escape the hassle of airports altogether.