Home TIPS Air delays: What to do when a short hop takes forever
Air delays: What to do when a short hop takes forever PDF Print E-mail

It happens! With the friendly skies becoming more and more crowded, weather delays and other unfriendly glitches, your expected journey of a couple of hours can stretch and stretch.

Recently an American Airlines flight from Barbados to New York lasted 14 hours for what usually takes four. Even after all the delays and landing schedules, it finally missed its destination by 90 miles. It landed in Philadelphia, and took most of the unhappy passengers another four hours to get home in the New York City area.

You know it will happen again, and unfortunately to just about every one of us. You can fuss, rant and rage, but that won’t take one minute off the delay. There are a few things you can do to make those hours pass a bit more quickly. 

1. The way it was: In the old days of flying, you could’ve taken a book along, a radio, mini-audio cassette player, some papers from work or stared at the ten-inch screen on the bulkhead 12 rows away.

2. How it is now: Today, you have access to a stack of electronic miracles. On your next flight, make sure you take aboard with you a desktop computer, Ebook, iPad, CD player, DVD player or any one or two of those marvelous little gadgets that can blot out everything around you for hours.

3. Get some shut-eye: Bring comfy clothes, noise-reducing earphones, sleep mask and anything else that allow you to curl up in the airport waiting area or in your airline seat. Seek a comfy position, slip off your shoes, drink some tea or a shot of brandy, and flake out for as many hours as you can.

4. Temper, temper: Because you can’t do anything about it, nor can any airline people nearby when you rant. Don’t take out your frustrations on the airport desk workers or members of the flight crew.

Of course, staying calm when you’re going to be slouching in the airport or bouncing in your airline seat for a dozen hours is almost impossible. However, you can do as much as possible to make the hours pass comfortably and with your little electronic devices or snoozing.


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