Spending time at the Airport

Three hours at the airport: A mini guide

02 Feb 2017
If you’re flying long-haul, don’t look at that three-hour window at departures as a chore. Here’s how to make it a relaxing part of your holiday - or a productive part of your business trip.

By their very nature, airports are well-connected places, and not just in terms of flight paths to just about every corner of the earth. When airport facilities are created with the modern traveler in mind, they can connect you to the internet, the latest designer gadgets, clothing and accessories , plus a whole host of hidden gems that you might be yet to discover. So, make the most of everything that the departures terminal has to offer with this mini guide.



Arrive in good time and arrive calm. If you’re driving, check the traffic status an hour or so before you plan to set off. When you get there, make a note of exactly where you parked to avoid any stress on the return leg.


If you’ve got a driver or you’re booking a cab, let the relevant person know what time you’d like to be at the airport and let them use their knowledge of the roads to give you an ideal pick-up time. The drop-off zone is always right by the entrance, so you won’t have to carry your bags far.


Check in / bag drop

Checking in online means less of a queue when you get to the airport. At the departures terminal, simply find a check-in point, scan your passport, print your boarding pass and drop your bags. The quicker you can get this done, the quicker you can move onto the more relaxing, exciting, surprising and productive things. 


Cruise duty-free stores

Airports are known for their carefully selected collections of designer clothing, sunglasses, luggage, jewelry and local delicacies or souvenirs. Stock up and choose to have your shopping delivered to your final destination. From that special bottle of champagne and luxury chocolates, to designer threads, bags or shoes, the retail experience is your opportunity to seek out treats for yourself and gifts for friends and family before you board your flight.


Head to the lounge

Counteract the chaos of the airport with the calm of an airport lounge. Relax at once by sinking into a comfortable chair, and lose yourself in a complementary newspaper, magazine or book. Enjoy a pre-flight light bite and alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments courtesy of the lounge. It’s the perfect way to relax into holiday mode. And if that’s not enough and you’re in a lounge with a spa, why not enjoy a massage, beauty treatment or combination pamper package?


If you’re traveling for business – set yourself up at a charging point and connect for free to the Wi-Fi. Keep the brain alert by staying hydrated with unlimited free drinks. And never miss a thing – screens showing your flight status will be available from almost every seat, so you can keep one eye on the updates.


Wait at the gate

Instead of arriving at the gate flustered, tired, fed up, arrive fresh, charged up, and ready for the long haul.


So, next time you book a long-haul flight, remember to get to the airport in plenty of time to enjoy the facilities. The airport can be all things to all travelers, from an extension of your place of work, to an unexpected oasis of calm – it’s time to make the most of those hours after check-in.