When I was 18 years old, my father and his wife planned a trip out to California for Christmas break. My former stepmother has family in California, since that is where she is from and spent 20 years of her life, and enjoyed her rare visits back home. Since we live in Ohio, a trip to California was often long and planned well in advance, not to mention something we didn’t get to do very often. Here is just how even the best plans can get ruined because of the weather.
This trip was planned well in advance, since before Thanksgiving, so it was something everyone was looking forward to, and just was a huge trip for the family. What we didn’t count on however, was a big snowstorm coming into the area the morning we were supposed to be leaving. We got on the plane alright, but we had a layover in Chicago, IL., and this is when things got dicey. We were only supposed to have an hour layover before boarding the next plane to get us to California, but one hour turned into two hours, due to a snowstorm heading over the area. It snowed about 3 inches outside, which is not much, but the visibility was too low for the plane to travel. A little bit of sleet was also coming down, making the runways a little too slippery to give it a try. Two hours soon turned into three hours, and before it was all said and done, we were stuck for almost 10 hours in the airport.
Being a teenager, I was so angry that I had to spend 10 hours in this airport, because I was missing the computer, the Internet, and my boyfriend back home. There is only so much to do in the airport, especially when the price of a cup of coffee is twice as much in the airport as it is outside of the airport. I was so bored and mad I just went off into another lobby area on the opposite side of the airport and found a chair to sleep in until my dad woke me up hours later by calling my cell phone. So as someone who experienced this firsthand, here is a couple ways to cope if this happens to you.
One of the best things to do if you get stuck at an airport is just to stay calm and try to not over think everything. I was really anxious and mad the whole 10 hours, which just made that experience even more horrible. You really should just learn to roll with the situation and not let it impact your mood, because you can’t do anything about it anyways. This also goes for people you run into while in the airport, meaning don’t be mean to the person behind the counter, or the person getting you some food while you wait. These people that work in the airport have no control over the weather, so being mean to them while they are trying to provide you a service is never a good idea.
Something that would have helped me is if I would have just sat down and learned things about my location. I could have pulled out pamphlets and learned about Chicago, IL., maybe looked at some nearby amusement parks or entertainment venues, and just educated myself on the good things about this city. So if you are stuck in an airport, why not take the time to learn about the culture surrounding you, such as what is the area known for in the culinary department? I wish I would have taken the time to look at my location and get a feel for what the area had to offer.
Coping with a layover or being delayed 10 hours longer than the layover is difficult, so I would suggest taking a book, tablet, or device that you can use to read or play games. If this happened to me now, I would have my tablet in my hand and be playing Candy Crush, but this was before technology was as evolved as it is now. Anything you might be able to carry in a purse, diaper bag, or camera bag would be great to have during this time. Even just getting a deck of cards and putting them into your purse before you leave your house would be a good idea. If you pack electronics, always make sure that they are well charged before you leave your house, or keep a charger with you so you can plug it up while you are waiting.
I would also suggest a good way to cope is to wear comfortable clothing, something that you could sleep in or wear for hours without it bothering you. I saw some people wearing dresses and heels during my delay, and I cannot imagine how hard it was to walk around in those all day, especially during the winter storm. If you have a pair of slacks or comfortable pants around, wear those instead of the jeans or suit and tie. If you are heading to the airport, just plan on there being a delay and wear the tennis shoes instead of the heels or dress shoes. You don’t want to just sit there for hours while your flight is delayed, you really need to get up and walk around, and you need comfortable shoes to do that. Coping with a flight delay is difficult, especially if you are on a business trip, but just try to remember that some things, like the weather, are just out of your control.