Enjoying Being Stuck In An Airport

Is this seriously possible?

February 1, 2019
Aaron Carreno Header

OK...maybe "enjoying" isn't quite the word I am looking for, but hey - if you can take advantage of a long layover (or in my case, a delay) and not have it be stressful, that's a GOOD thing.

This week's "Travel Thursday" blog takes me back to the start of the week (Monday), when I was stuck in the Atlanta airport trying to get back to Milwaukee after a weekend getaway.  I knew prior to leaving for the weekend that there'd be a good chance of being delayed on the way home due to snow, so I started mentally preparing myself.  

I could get into the details, the strategies, or even the logistics of how my credit cards and usage of points & miles has helped me travel for free, but we'll discuss that in-person or on a separate blog.  I'm also aware that everyone's knowledge on stuff like this differs, so I might be repeating myself if you're a VERY frequent flier.

For today, I wanted to talk about some options for how to spend time wisely in the terminal instead of sitting at the gate.

For this trip I flew Delta back to Milwaukee, and because I had access to the Delta SkyClub, I made sure to start there where I did some show prep while snacking on some pasta and mineral water.  I get access to this for FREE with one of my credit cards (AMEX Platinum), so it certainly proved to be a worthwhile decision.  You can also pay or use miles to access certain airline clubs on your trip, but they come with a heftier fee, so I don't recommend it.  Some airlines (like Delta) have since discontinued this option.

After roughly two hours sitting in a somewhat crowded lounge, I thought I'd take advantage of these places in select airports called "Minute Suites".  Essentially these are private, post-security micro rooms that serve as a place to get some shut eye, work, or just relax away from crowds and people.  Again, I used my AMEX Platinum card to get in for free for the first hour, but you can also pay to book these hours at a time. 

As you can see these suites are small, and come with snacks and beverages available for a fee.  If you ever try out one of these suites, make sure to adjust the white noise knob along the panel with the light switches before you get too comfortable. I highly recommend this miniature oasis in the chaotic terminal if you can justify the price!

I almost wish I'd have stayed two hours and paid for the 2nd instead of just limiting my visit to the free hour.  My flight ended up being delayed (again) so being able to get some more shut eye would have been nice!

As you can see, as someone who might not fly often (or ever), there are plenty of options to retreat while getting to your destination.  Whether it's gaining access with the right card or paying with cash, it can be a really relaxing way to travel.  I also understand this isn't necessarily the best choice when traveling with a large family as it can get pretty pricey.  If you and your travel companion can swing it, it might actually end up being cheaper than spending two hours racking up a giant bill at the airport Chili's... ;)

I love to travel and experience new places and meet new people.  I'd love to share more of my stories and hear yours too!  Feel free to connect with me anytime across the following social channels:

Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @OnAirAaron