So there I was in Chicago, waiting for tornado threats to pass by so I can fly home without the fear of being swept up into a whirlwind storm. What does one do in the event of a delay? I’d already finished my Michael Crichton novel and I didn’t care to purchase any of those airport reads. I already ate my dinner. I couldn’t go back into downtown, so there I stayed.
Fortunately, airports are so cool now that killing time in them is so easy. Here are some ways to pass the time.
1. Shop. Seriously, move over, Duty Free whose products haven’t changed since 1981. So many of your mall favorites are right here. Sure, you have to figure out how to cram it into your carry-on (although anything purchased after going through security is allowed as an extra carry-on). I actually, really, purchased a gift at Brookstone in an airport instead of at the mall because I knew I wouldn’t have to bring it through security and have it counted as an extra carry-on. You can also pick up clean shirts and a tie at Brooks Brothers, shop for a new cell phone, buy movies, toys, anything. Overseas, sometimes I just wait to get to an airport to do any of my shopping. In developing countries, the products are cleaner and better quality than those sold on the street (though maybe a little pricier, but what else are you going to do with your leftover currency?)
2. Eat. There’s Legal Seafoods in Boston Logan’s airport, Obrycki’s in BWI, Gladstones at LAX, Billy Goat Tavern at O’Hare, etc. etc. BBQ at Dallas Fort-Worth, Rocky Mountain steaks at Denver International, and so on. In addition, the service is speedy fast because they know you have a flight to catch, and sometimes a receipt from the restaurant gives you access to first-class lines at security so you don’t have to spend an hour waiting in the steerage line.
3. Massages. Whoever first put a massage chair at an airport was a genius. Sure, it’s one of those chair massages where they pull at your shirt and the world, literally, walks by and sees you being prodded and plied like a piece of dough. But when you’re stressed out, tired, sore from sitting in an airplane seat, so what better way to be relaxed than have someone punch your muscles into pulp? Aaaaaah.
4. Catch up on your sports. Sports fans, there are multiple sports bars in airports allowing you to enjoy the game and a brewsky of your choice. Sometimes you’ll have to contend with the local teams, which you may give two rats’ behinds about, but if you’re like Jon, you don’t care. You’ll watch the cricket championships if it’s all they have. The next thing you know, the agent is paging you to proceed to the gate.
Wine-taste. Yes, there are a number of wine-tasting counters at airports. Who knew? Indulge your palette before your flight. Vino Volo is opening a number of wine-tasting counters throughout the United States, with existing locations at JFK, BWI, Philadelphia, SEATAC, OAK, Newark, Detroit, San Antonio, Dulles and Sacramento. Try wines and bite-sized amuse-bouches before you take off on another journey.