Now Boarding… No wait, not yet.
After spending most of my time flying between Seattle and Fort Myers, FL, I have grown accustomed to spending hours in airport terminals waiting for my next flight.
What many people don’t know, however, is that an airport actually has a ton of hidden potential that can be discovered with a little imagination and willingness to explore. Although not all airports have large shopping malls attached or terminals upon terminals of restaurants, most have the basics, which can be used to make time fly by.
I’m not encouraging you to embrace life in the airport the way Tom Hanks does in The Terminal, but the next time you find yourself trying to kill time, here are several suggestions to make it more enjoyable.
1. Eat: I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Obviously, that’s the first thing I do when I get off the plane,” but before you run to the nearest McDonalds in the terminal, consider your options. Many airports have great sit-down restaurants for the fatigued traveler who has ample time in between flights. If you’re over 21, sit yourself at the bar. Many people travel alone and would love someone to talk to for an hour or two.
2. Pamper Yourself: It may be hard to imagine an airport as a mini-spa, but search hard enough and you’ll find that most airports are equipped with massage chairs and 10-minute manicure stations. Some places, like the Jetsetter Mini Spa located in Boston Logan’s airport has extensive spa offerings where you can grab a pedicure, manicure and a facial while waiting for your flight.
3. Shop: Get your shopping fix by wandering around the concourse(s) of the airport while you’re waiting. Some airports have extensive shopping areas, with name-brand retailers while others have smaller stores with trinkets to fill your carry-on with. Flying international? Duty Free allows you to purchase your favorite designer goods tax-free, so be sure to check out the duty free offerings in the airport.
4. Recharge Your Batteries: Literally, that is. It’s always a good idea to find an area with a plug and connect all your electronics to prepare for the next leg of your journey. Some airports have areas with big comfy chairs and copious amounts of plugs to help travelers like you relax while powering up their favorite electronics.
5. Try Something Local: Even though your layover is may be only a pit-stop to your final destination, you might as well immerse yourself in the local culture and gain a little knowledge on the area. If your layover is in Seattle, try a smaller locally owned coffee shop. If your layover is in Baltimore, see if you can eat some local crab cakes. You get the idea.
6. Strut Your Stuff: After sitting on an airplane for a long flight, nothing feels better than getting up and stretching your legs. Why not use your layover as an opportunity to get a little exercise? Visit the one of the airport’ information booths and inquire if they have a walking course around the concourse. If not, make your own route. It may not be as good as a gym, but the exercise should work out the cramps in your legs and tire you out in time for a nice nap on your next flight.
7. Phone a Friend: The beauty of having a cell phone is that you can call anyone from anywhere. Use you layover to give some of your long-distance friendships the TLC they deserve. Calling a friend is something that can be combined with a number of other options on this list, especially grabbing a quick meal or walking around the airport.
8. Indulge Yourself: If nothing else, use your layover to spoil yourself and purchase something you wouldn’t normally buy. During long layovers, buy all the latest gossip magazines and see who Jennifer Aniston’s new man is, or treat yourself to a delicious sundae from one of the airport’s ice cream shops.
9. Watch the Planes: Sometimes finding a great view of the runway, sitting back and watching the planes take-off can make the time pass quickly. If you have little kids this is a perfect way to entertain them for at least a little while.
10. Relax: If you’re a nervous flyer, or if none of these suggestions piqued your interests, just finding a quiet place to sit and unwind can be the perfect thing to do during your time in between your flights. So sit back, relax and wait for your seat to be called to board!
Boston-Logan International Airport
- Visit this link for restaurants, shops and services
- Don’t Miss: Kidport, Boston Logan’s play areas. The Kidport play areas offer fun-filled space for little travelers and give parents and caregivers a place to unwind before or after a flight. Click this link for locations.
- 9/11 Memorial: The Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial is a place of reflection and remembrance for all those affected by the events of September 11, 2001. The Airport 9/11 Memorial honors the passengers and crews of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, which departed Logan Airport that morning for Los Angeles.