How to Pass the Time While Waiting for a Flight

Long layovers, delayed flights or arriving at the airport early: for whatever reason, we've all found ourselves in the departure lounge with time on our hands. But there’s no need to wish away the hours before you board – here's how to make the most of your time at the airport.

Indulge in some retail therapy

Airports like Singapore Changi Intl, Hong Kong Intl and Seoul Incheon Intl have hundreds of stores and were voted among the world’s best airports for shopping in The World Airport Awards 2016. Many international airports offer an array of duty free and designer stores for travelers to browse for clothing, cosmetics and gadgets while they wait for a flight. It’s also a great place to pick up last-minute gifts for loved ones just make sure you can fit them all within your hand luggage allowance.

Get pampered

In airports like Abu Dhabi Intl and New York JFK, you can now find spas offering holistic therapies and acupuncture alongside luxurious treatments such as Swedish massages and manicures. And with airport lounge membership, travelers have access to a global network of VIP lounges to relax in, many of which offer a selection of exclusive pre-flight spa treatments so arrive early for maximum indulgence.

Top up your vaccinations

Large airports like London Heathrow and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo all have travel clinics, useful if you need to complete a course of vaccinations. Check with your departure airport first to make sure the service is available, and also check with your GP before travelling, as some vaccinations need to be given over a period of time. Once you get the all-clear, make an advance booking at the airport travel clinic to arrange your travel vaccinations before you board a practical way to pass the time before flights.

Have a good meal

If youre not keen on the prospect of airplane snacks, use your pre-flight downtime to have a leisurely meal at one of the airports restaurants. Eating a quality meal and staying properly hydrated are two excellent ways to avoid jet lag on long-haul flights. Dieticians recommend drinking plenty of water, fruit juice and herbal teas while travelling and avoiding salty foods to minimize the fatigue that comes with crossing time zones.

Get some work done

If the bright lights and plastic seats of the departure hall are getting to you, escape to a VIP lounge. Airport lounges in our network offer a much more peaceful and comfortable place to pass the time before your flight, offering complimentary refreshments, newspapers and magazines, Wi-Fi and power outlets. 

Find a table, take out your laptop and catch up on emails or business tasks. Alternatively, work on personal projects that you don't usually have time for. Start writing that novel, work on your website, edit your favourite holiday photographs time flies when you're getting things done.