Next time you travel on business…How Delayed Flights Can Be Fun and Productive

Written by admin   // July 19, 2010   // 0 Comments

Expert offers tips on making the time pass faster while waiting at the airport

Hurry up and wait.

That’s the modern ethic for the frequent (or even infrequent) air traveler. Get to the airport a few hours early to ensure you have all the time you need to get through the security line.

Then, you take off your shoes, take all the change out of your pockets, take out your laptop, take off your belt and anything else that might possibly set off the metal detector, take your ID out of your wallet, walk through the metal detector, set it off with the cell phone you forgot to take out of your pocket, wait patiently while you get scanned by the wand that makes the Star Wars light saber noise, and then put everything back only to find out your flight is delayed for another few hours.

Sound familiar? That experience is like mother’s milk to Jeff Michaels, a musician who found a way to pass that time creatively during his years on the road and turned it into the book, Please Hug Me, I’ve Been Delayed ( <

“Back in the 70s and 80s, betting on when arriving flights would actually touch down was a great way to pass the time, and even make a buck off of other stranded passengers,” Michaels says.

“But now with the advent of blackberries, iPhones, iPads, laptops and other gadgets, there is a whole new range of busywork and play that you can take advantage of in the airport.”

His ideas include:

• Scroll through your contacts on your phone and delete any ex’s and all the people you no longer like. You’ll be surprised how good this can feel.

• Review your portfolio allocations. If you don’t have any portfolio allocations and keep all your money in checking, now might be a good time to hit the airport newsstand and buy a book on investing.

• Use this time to back up your laptop hard drive.

Make a habit of doing this every time you fly and you’ll never have to worry about losing all your Kim Kardashian pictures, er, I mean data, ever again.

• Get your shoes shined. This is an age-old tradition that is going the way of the 8-track. And remember, these poor guys are stuck in the airport for life. Tip them well.

•  Ladies, now would be a good time to clean out the mobile filing cabinet you call your purse. Be discriminating.

Do you really need to carry around the Led Zeppelin ticket stubs from the concert your high school boyfriend took you to? (Didn’t he cheat on you with Sara Jansen at the prom anyway?)

And gentlemen, let’s get those 72 fast food receipts and expired video club cards out of those wallets before the airlines charge you for an extra carryon.

• Call your mom.

Other games include, “How Attractive Am I Really?”, “Celebrity ‘Sighting’”, where you gain points for convincing others a random celebrity walked by (bonus points for celebrity vampires), and detailed instructions on how to use your terminal down time to set a new world record.

“If you even try just a few of these, you may find the time passing much quicker,” Michaels concludes. “And this will hopefully leave you with at least a little strength to battle any Chronic Seat Kickers (CSKs) when you eventually board the plane.” (Which he also offers solutions for—some minor acting required.)

“Overbooking, lost luggage, and excessive baggage fees are frustrating enough experiences for passengers. If I can help at least one person keep their sanity through an agonizing flight delay, then I’ve done my job,” says Michaels.

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