Stuck at the Airport? 6 Things to Do When Your Flight is Delayed

Delayed flights can be incredibly frustrating. You arrive at the airport on time, check in your luggage, and go through security, only to find out that your flight has been delayed.

Sure it's not like you miss your flight, but waiting for the next flight and getting stuck in the airport a little longer can be pretty annoying if you're ready for a long-haul flight.

It's easy to feel annoyed and helpless in this situation, but there are ways to make the most of it. Instead of letting the delay ruin your day, you can use the extra time to be productive or even turn it into an opportunity for new experiences.

In this post, I'm going to share some top tips for things to do when your flight is delayed. Let's dive in!

flight delay
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What to Do When Your Flight is Delayed

When faced with a delayed flight, it's important to stay calm and do something productive rather than wasting time and getting frustrated. 

Depending on how long your delayed flight is, it's also wise to check with your travel insurance and see if you can claim the case to get some extra compensation for your waiting time. 

So, here are some things you can do when your flight is delayed!

1. Read a book

One of the best ways to stay productive during a delayed flight is to read a book. Whether it's a novel you've been meaning to dive into or a self-help book that can inspire you, reading is a great way to pass the time and expand your knowledge. 

You can also use this opportunity to learn something new by listening to podcasts or watching TED Talks on your phone or tablet.

what to do during a flight delay
Source: Unsplash.

2. Explore the Airport

Instead of viewing a delayed flight as a setback, try seeing it as an opportunity for new experiences. One idea is to explore the airport

Many airports have shops, restaurants, and even art installations that you can discover while waiting for your flight. Take a walk around and see what catches your eye.

Another idea is to try new food. Airports often have a variety of dining options, from fast food chains to local eateries. 

Use this time to indulge in a meal you wouldn't normally have or try a cuisine you've never experienced before. It can be a fun and delicious way to make the most of your delay.

3. Learn a new language

There are many language learning apps available that allow you to practice vocabulary and pronunciation. Use this time to brush up on your language skills or even learn the basics of a new language before you hit the road and travel to your next destination.

While you can always install free apps like Duolingo, my personal favorite is iTalki as you can also pay extra to hire a native language tutor to master the foreign language you want to learn.

You're at the airport. If you're lucky, you may meet a stranger who's probably a native speaker of the language you learn so maybe you can use the time to practice a new language while waiting for your flight to take off! 

things to do when your flight is delayed - people watching
Source: Unsplash.

4. People-watching

It's important not to let flight delays ruin your day. Instead, try to make the most of the situation by finding things to do while waiting at the airport. 

One thing you can do is people-watch. Airports are filled with people from all walks of life, and observing them can be fascinating. You can create stories in your head about where they might be going or what their lives are like.

5. Playing online games

When you find yourself stuck at the airport due to a delay, the best thing you can do is to find a spot where you can easily charge your phone and do whatever you want on your mobile phone. 

Whether you want to watch Netflix or play some new online games that you've wanted to try for a long time, the options are endless if you have a fully charged phone. 

My personal favorite is to play Skip-bo, as I can choose whether I want to play offline or online with other players. If you want to kill time and have some budget to gamble a little bit, you may want to check the Gates of the Olympus demo

playing online game while waiting for your delayed flight at the airport.
Source: Unsplash.

6. Take a nap

When all fails, taking a nap can be the best solution to calm down while waiting for your next flight. Especially if you're feeling exhausted or jetlagged, you can use the flight delay as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed rest. 

Find a quiet corner, put on some relaxing music or noise-canceling headphones, and go ahead and take the power nap you deserve. 

Most airports like Dubai or Muscat International Airport usually provide reclining seats at the terminal to make your stopover more convenient. 


What should I do if my flight is delayed?

If your flight is delayed, the first thing you should do is check the status of your flight with the airline. You can also ask the airline staff for information about the delay and what your options are.

delayed flight passenger
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Can I get compensation for a delayed flight?

If your flight is delayed for more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation under EU law. The amount of compensation depends on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight.

What are my options if my flight is delayed?

If your flight is delayed, you may be able to rebook on another flight, get a refund, or receive compensation. If the delay is long, you can also ask the airline for food and accommodation.

It's also important to check with your travel insurance to see if you are entitled to get some extra compensation for your delayed flight


Having to wait even longer at the airport can be pretty annoying, especially if you fly an international flight and already passed the immigration. 

However, it shouldn't stop you from trying to make the most of your waiting time. As frustrating as delayed flight is, you can still use your time to be productive. 

Whether you want to check the bookstore and buy a new book to read or just play your favorite online game, there are a lot of things you can do when your flight is delayed. 

Depending on where you are, you may even be entitled to extra compensation from both airlines and travel insurance because of the delayed flight. 

So, not sure what to do while waiting for your next flight? I hope these tips will be helpful for you!


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