Last month, YouTuber Mahshid Mazooji missed her connecting flight in North Carolina and was stranded overnight in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
So she decided to dance throughout the airport with staff and fellow travelers. Of course, her video went viral.
If you’re stuck at an airport during a layover and want to have some fun like Mazooji did, you can start your own dance party too. There are plenty of other, lower-key ideas too:
“I adore a store at Miami International Airport called Ocean Drive,” said Jenifour Jones, president of Go Get It Events & Travel, in Los Angeles, California. “It opens at 6 a.m. and sells very cute dresses, outfits, jewelry, bathing suits, etc. I get more compliments on items bought here than anywhere, and visiting the store gets my clients excited for their Miami layover en route to the Caribbean.”
Get Out and Explore
Depending on how much time you have, Karen Quinn-Panzer, a Dream Vacations Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist at Quinn Panzer Travel in Milford, Connecticut, suggests you leave the airport and tour.
“Take a one- or two-hour city tour from the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah or Seoul, Korea,” she said. “Enjoy spas in airports such as Singapore, an art museum in San Francisco and an airport “Oktoberfest” in Munich. If it’s a great city for foodies, take a taxi to a great restaurant for a quick culinary trip for lunch or dinner.
Before you do this, however, Katiana Jolimeau said it’s best to research the location of the airport and how far it is away from the city.
“When I fly from Bogota to Medellin, it’s a 10 to 15-minute flight to Medellin, but it’s a 45-minute ride to the city,” said Jolimeau of Trips Travel Agency in Virginia. “In this case, it’s not a good idea to venture out of the airport if you have a 4- or 5-hour layover. However, I will venture out if I have 10 hours or longer. In fact, when I fly through Panama on Copa, they have 19-hour layovers in Panama City, which is great to spend the night in the city and explore the area.”
She also advises researching baggage fees on long/overnight flights.
“I once incurred a second baggage fee on a route that included an 11-hour layover in Dallas,” said Jolimeau.
Get a Priority Pass
If you don’t have time to leave the airport and you fly often, consider getting a Priority Pass Select to access more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world, including hundreds across North and South America. “
You can relax in between flights with free Wi-Fi, watch the news and enjoy snacks and drinks,” said Quinn-Panzer.
Denise Koranek of Sunset Vacations & Travel Planning in the Dallas Fort Worth, Texas area, suggests downloading the airport’s app if they have one for suggestions on what there is to do.
“You’ll find museums, art displays, sculptures, unlimited shopping, interesting design elements showcasing the location, movie theaters, exercise facilities, showers and great eating just to name a few,” said Koranek.
Book a Hotel
Jacqui Whitt of Adios Adventure Travel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, said that long layovers are common for people traveling back home after their visit to Machu Picchu.
“Lima airport has very basic comforts including food and coffee, but there’s no comfortable place to hang out,” said Whitt. “When I’m traveling with a group and we have a 12-hour or longer layover, I will set up rooms for us in a hotel which are located about an hour from the airport and arrange for a driver to meet our flight and transfer to the hotel.”
Once she and her group are in the city, they decide whether they are going to walk and explore or rest.
“Some airports around the world have entertainment, sleeping pods, gardens, free wi-fi, lounges open 24 hours and really good food,” said Whitt. “This is a smart strategy to better accommodate people on airport layovers.”
Try to Fly Out
It’s worth a shot.
“If there is another flight leaving earlier to my destination, I will ask to go standby,” said Margie Lenau of Family Wonderland Vacations in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “There is a fee for this, usually $75, and it is nonrefundable unless there is a problem with your flight schedule.”
If all of these ideas still don’t cut it, get out that camera on your phone and start dancing!