6 Ways to Make the Most of a Flight Delay

couple at airport
Photo: iStock
We're not going to sugarcoat it -- airports suck, and getting stuck at one sucks even more. But if your flight's delayed, here are a few fun ways to make the time fly.

1. Drink Away the Delay
Okay, it's an obvious way to kill time, but it's also a great way to deal with all the stress caused by a delay. Hey, a couple of margaritas and some potato skins at the airport T.G.I. Friday's and, suddenly, missing your cousin's nuptials to sit in a Dallas airport might not seem so bad.

2. Have Some Fun
Channel your inner teenage self and challenge your partner to a game of hangman or I Spy. Or blow off some steam by taking a luggage cart for a joyride. Take turns pushing each other and dodging other travelers. Heading off on a romantic getaway? Get in the mood with a little sexy game of "I Never," which works particularly well if you already have a drink in hand (see #1). Stuck solo? Whip out your phone or computer for a game of Tetris, Boggle or one of the thousands of other apps offering hours of distraction.

3. People-Watch
So, you're supposed to be sitting in a cafe in Italy watching glamorous Italians sip cappuccinos by now? Well, we can't guarantee you'll find Italian-worthy espresso at the airport, but it is next to impossible not to run into a Starbucks (mmmmm, Frappuccino!) before taking a front-row seat at your gate for some of the best people-watching around. While we admit the view of the Golden Arches and the constant buzz of airport announcements don't make for quite the romantic setting of, say, a piazza in Florence, we promise you'll catch some of the most fascinating people (and getups) in the world if you stick around the international terminal long enough.

4. Pamper Yourselves
If you're lucky enough to get stranded in one of the airports with massage therapists and manicurists, um, take advantage. 'Cause they're not in every airport, you lucky bastards, and it's just about the most appealing option you're going to find for passing the time during a delay. Plus, come on: You're on vacation, aren't you? Stuck at one of those bare-bones airports that doesn't have a Manchu WOK, much less a spa? Sucks for you! Just kidding. DIY it: Take turns rubbing each other's backs and toes.

5. Have a Food Court Fest
Give yourselves permission to enjoy some of the greasiest, fattiest and tastiest fast food you'll find outside the mall. Yep, we're talking about hitting up the food court for a tasting (slash binge) of all that food you know better than to eat: fried rice and sesame chicken from the WOK, a frosted Cinnabon that's larger than your head, a not-so-healthy fro-yo sprinkled sundae courtesy of a childhood throwback you may remember called TCBY (yes, they still exist, and airports might be the only place you'll find them), a slice of Sbarro's pepperoni pizza or the ultimate fast-food meal -- a Whopper from Burger King, McDonald's fries and a Wendy's Frosty. Sorry, we can't guarantee that the plane ride after will be fun.

6. Shop
Buying new stuff is a great way to feel better about wasting one of your beach days at the airport. Plus, now's your chance to stock up on everything you forgot (toothpaste, much?). Or maybe you'll spot something to make your trip a little more pleasant if you ever actually get in the air, like one of those neck pillow thingies or, perhaps, a tax-free bottle of rum courtesy of duty-free. Flight canceled? Don't forget about a few tabloids and an overpriced tell-all (you know you want to know what Oprah's really like) to get you through the next few hours...or days.