As you may know by some of my previous blogs, I travel a lot and thus spend a lot of time in airports. Over my years spent in airports I have come up with the following ways to make the usually less than enjoyable time bearable or even fun. Here’s my 5 favorite hacks for enjoying time in the airport
1) Live The Highlife in an Airport Lounge
First off I’m a big fan of spending time in the airline clubs. They have fast wifi, free food and drinks, and really comfortable seating options. It’s also pretty quiet and a good place to de-stress. Most clubs will let you in for a $50 fee, but there a few hacks you can use to get in for free. Some Airline credit cards and the AMEX Platinum will gain you access, as will a first class ticket. My favorite hack overall is using preferred airline status with ONE to get into their lounges. If you read my previous post on getting Elite status through an American Airlines Challenge then you’ll enjoy knowing that other airlines will match whatever status you win and those other airlines will also let you in their clubs for free!
2) Rest Up
Whether in the club area of in front of your gate, it’s always nice to catch some shut eye. The caveat to doing this right is notifying a worker near-by of your upcoming flight in case you rest too long. As a backup mechanism I also like to set an alarm on my phone. You might stress out about not waking up, but I’ve never had a problem with these two notification systems.
3) Download Entertainment
Whether on your phone or on your computer, you should have multiple options to download loads of entertainment before your flight. I recently flew to San Diego and I used the time to download an educational PDF of Paul Grahm’s blog posts on my Mac Air laptop.
4) Charge up Those Devices
I like to have all of my devices charged when I travel. Especially internationally. You sometimes just don’t know when your next power up is gonna be. That means plugging in your laptop, your portable phone charger, your phone, and whatever else you have long before you leave for the airport to assure the 100% battery life. I normally find an outlet at the airport (you can always find one if you look hard enough) and establish my personal real estate area while downloading/watching movies or doing personal work on my laptop. Depending on how involved you get, you might want to set a calendar reminder or alarm to remind yourself of your upcoming flight.
Networking in the airport can allow you to gain new contacts, learn about someone else, and pass the time in a productive manner. Personally I’m also not the biggest fan of pre-flight massages but, if you’re going to get a massage you’re probably better off after your flight when you need it more and it’s half the price.
I have three rules with airport food — 1) It’s generally going to be better than anything you can get on a plane. 2) If you can, hold out on eating until you reach your final destination. 3) If you’re dying of hunger, go with things that look fresh, stay away from all forms of fish/sushi, and if possible avoid fast food at all costs (as you normally should).