Terminal Time

You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?

netflix for books

I don’t believe it. You genuinely don’t know what to do without electronic gadgets? You are lost without your cell phone or tablet? Really? You’re not kidding me?

If you don’t have an instant answer to this, perhaps we come from different planets. Because me, I would simply reach into my carry-on and pick out a book. If none of the books I’ve packed appealed to me, I’d take a walk to the nearest shop (airports are full of them, in case you haven’t noticed) and buy something to read. A newspaper (yes, they still print them). Maybe a couple of magazines. Or — a book!

If all else fails, I might consider chatting with other passengers who are waiting with me. I have had some of the most interesting conversations of my life in terminals, waiting for planes, trains or buses. Although I know you usually text, the organ into which you insert food has a dual purpose and can be used for conversation.

Despite rumors to the contrary, direct communication between living people can prove a pleasant — even enlightening — way of passing the hours. If you’ve never tried it, this would be an opportunity to expand your world! I strongly recommend you give it a try.

You really need to think about this? Seriously?

FOOTNOTE: I’d probably be taking a few dozen pictures too. Airports and the people in them make great subjects. I don’t take pictures using a phone. In fact, I don’t carry a cell phone (what? say that again? You heard me … I don’t carry a cell phone). I use a camera, a device dedicated to taking photographs. And I carry enough spare batteries to get me through two weeks without electricity, so I don’t care what anyone says. My camera WILL work, no matter where I am!


Categories: Humor, Transportation, Travel

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

61 replies

  1. That question is indeed insulting, but not surprising. If I have idle time, it’s time to fire up the old imagination. You can’t find an app for that on a cell phone…


  2. I’d head to one of the local shops for a soft pretzel with cheese, some gummy worms, and the latest and greatest novel. This is an easy one!


    • Usually you have to stay in the airport because airports are never in town and you have no transportation. Modern airports are designed to solve this problem and help us spend our money. Sometimes I wonder if they don’t create delays just so we’ll shop.

      International airports are indistinguishable from high-end shopping malls … and they accept all currencies. There are some great shoe stores at Heathrow. Perfume and Godiva chocolate in Belgium. Chili powder at Dallas. Gambling in Las Vegas (I actually made a few bucks during a layover there).

      And I always follow Murphy Brown’s Law: “Never eat sushi at an airport.”


      • I’d say, “never eat sushi unless you’re at a sushi restaurant and it’s being freshly made” although I am known to buy grocery store sushi, but you can SEE it being made.


        • Then I ask you, fellow sushi love — why is grocery store sushi so bad? It’s fresh enough. It’s just so … tasteless and dry. We keep trying it because it’s there and it looks good. But eating it is always such a disappointment.


  3. Wow Marilyn, I think you were just reading my mind. I went to San Francisco on Friday and my plane was delayed by 4 hours. I tried to call my husband and there was no cell phone reception in the terminal and no pay phone. I spend the time having a lovely conversation with a mom and her 9 year old boy (he loves reading). I also read. The only thing I couldn’t do was eat, there were zero vegan food options on offer except for a bag of potato chips and OJ. LOL!


    • I think they should feed you when the plane is so delayed, but they don’t.

      People are very friendly when everyone is stuck in the airport together. And it’s very easy to be relaxed and open since you’re pretty sure you’ll never see that person again … it’s a little island in time.


      • “a little island in time” I like that! Bill drove me across the boarder to a tiny airport in Bellingham, Washington. It was hundreds of dollars cheaper to fly from there rather than Canada. The have one restaurant and one coffee shop. It’s one of those airports that have you walk outside to the plane and climb up a ramp, that’s how small it is.


  4. I usually read, though people watching can also be quite fun. I love the idea of chatting with strangers, but I’m never any good at starting such conversations.


  5. I usually have a book and a word-puzzle book to pass the time. When I get tired of reading or doing crossword puzzles, I like to people-watch! Never bored in an airport! 😀


  6. There is one thing that I will do with or without a gadget and that is to walk around to observe and analyze things. There is so much which we see but do not observe. There must be paintings which we can admire and we can think about what it signifies. Then there comes the architecture of the airport. There must be stores on the Airport that one can walk into just to take a glimpse of whatever is available there. Airport is one of the places where people from different countries are under a common roof. Thus, I can observe different cultures and study behavior of people from different countries or cities.


  7. That’s not fair! You wrote my post! Nearly verbatim too! *sigh* Now what am I supposed to write. 😛


  8. Whahahaha, that image you used is EPIC! I’m gonna steal it and use it at random. I want to use it as a wallpaper on highschools, none in particular. Absolutely yes. Reading has become such a non-cool thing to do these days, especially because we seem to prefer to look at something that keeps moving. I want a book-revolution! Great post 🙂 X


  9. I always pack a paper-based book just in case. And as you say there’s always somewhere to buy a book.
    Even though I’ll rarely start a conversation with a stranger, it’s always easier to talk to people when going through a shared experience (like a massively delayed flight).
    Like you said, loads to do! Even people-watch for a while.


  10. All those stats, all those stats. Time enough at last.


  11. All hail the analogue people! We have to unite 😉


  12. This made me smile and wonder…….is your mouth an organ : )))))~


    • If your mouth isn’t, surely your tongue is 🙂


      • Well that was educational ! Time to taste dinner!

        Tongue (tung) the movable muscular organ on the floor of the mouth; it is the chief organ of taste, and aids in mastication, swallowing, and speech.


        • I bet taste is the sense we are most likely to forget when we list the senses … but when it goes missing (like when we have a cold!) … we sure do miss it!


          • I have VERY strong taste, smell and hearing. I think it’s because I am legally blind without corrective lenses and they didn’t discover it until I was 4 and kept walking into things. : ) My other senses over developed !

            How are you feeling Marilyn?


            • Good days and bad. Mostly better, but slow. Which isn’t really a surprise, but time tends to drag a bit.

              Has your vision improved at all with the years? Do contact lenses help? I have a few friends who are legally blind without lenses, but they’ve done OK. In some cases, contacts work better than eyeglasses — if they can wear them (I can’t). You take wonderful pictures, so I guess you’ve compensated nicely 🙂 Garry had terrible vision until he got cataracts. Then they replaced the natural lenses in his eyes with “fighter pilot” lenses and he can see like an eagle. At a distance. But he can’t read the label on a can in the grocery store without glasses … or use the computer. I know. It’s always something.


              • About 3 years ago I did the best thing EVER. I went and got one bi-focal lens and one regular for distance in my dominant eye. I can see about 90% and NO MORE READING GLASSES strewn all over my home.

                I am so glad you are getting better! Please take care!


  13. When I read this prompt…well, it sorta pissed me off. Sure, we have become addicted to our devices, but to ask how we would pass a whole six hours without them…oh the horror of it all. As if we would turn into sniveling idiots if we couldn’t use our iPhone or iPad or laptop. What you wrote is such an obvious answer to what I think is a ludicrous question.

    Of course, I probably would turn into a sniveling idiot if I had to spend six ours without one of my electronic devices, but that’s besides the point.


    • I have computers all over the place, but I never assume I can use them when I travel … and I loathe smart phones. So a day or three without a WiFi connection I can deal with. Not a problem … I’m not sure about longer, though. I may not need a suitcase full of gadgets, but I depend on computers big time 🙂


      • I admit that I am addicted to my devices, including my smartphone, and if I didn’t have access to them I would not be a happy camper. But I would survive for six hours and I would find other ways to occupy my time. One option might be to take a six-hour nap!


  14. Reblogged this on Writing Out Loud and commented:
    I love my iPhone, iPad and Kindle. I love my wife, my cat and my dog. I even tell them so.


  15. Oh well said, Marilyn. That was pretty much my reaction when I read the prompt – and, having scratched around for a satirical response, decided in the end not to bother! xxx

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Killing Time in the Airport- 15 ways | Prairie Views

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