10 Tips For What To Do When You're Stranded At The Airport

  • 3 min read


I recently found myself stranded in the Philadelphia airport. The airport rolled out cots for travelers who were unable to book a hotel but I found myself at a loss when it came to keeping my phone and iPad charged.

Keep the following tips in mind to survive your stay at the airport.

1. Get comfortable

No one likes to be delayed, especially when you're rushed, fatigued and you need to be somewhere.  But, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade!  Delays can be the opportunity to catch up on that book you've been meaning to read.  Or, that show or movie you never got a chance to see.

relaxing cat


2. Find a charging Station

Stay powered.  Keeping your phone, tablet or laptop powered is sometimes the only saving grace when you find yourself in this situation. Not only for communication but, for your own sanity and entertainment.

3. "Be prepared"

- the boy scouts motto,  which means, you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body.  Airline delays are a part of life so, you shouldn't be caught off guard when it happens.  Pack extra snacks, know where you can obtain water.  Have a portable battery pack on hand to extend the life of your device.  Having this state of mind helps you cope with these unexpected situations.

4. Get to know the gate agents

The gate agents can give you the best tips.

Having a contact at the airport will serve you well. You’ll know what’s going on before others on your flight. Plus, gate agents will have tips on what to do in the airport while you’re stranded. They have a wealth of knowledge from working at the airport day in and day out.

5. Be nice

No matter how cranky you get, try to be polite.  You’re frustrated, tired, hungry, and thirsty. Don’t let your state influence how you talk to gate agents or any other airport staff. The nicer you are, the more willing they’ll be to help you. In my opinion, this is the No. 1 thing to do when you’re stranded at the airport because no matter what, being nice will get you what you want faster than being rude.

6. Visit an airport lounge

Being able to relax will ease your stress.  If you’re flying domestically, buy a day pass to an airport lounge. There, you’ll be able to shower, eat, and sit on a couch — all luxuries when you’re stranded at the airport. For instance, Delta’s single visit pass will cost you $59. That’s a small price to pay for food, a shower, and Wi-Fi. If an airline-specific lounge isn’t in the cards, check to see whether the airport has a public lounge. These types of lounges offer similar amenities.

7. Book a hotel

Booking a hotel will be much more comfortable than staying in the airport.  If an airport lounge isn’t your style or is too crowded, try booking a hotel before rooms are filled with your fellow stranded passengers. If possible, while walking to the nearest hotel, call its reservations line to book a room. No one wants to sleep at their gate. Trust me, I’ve been there.

8. Tweet about your experience

Representatives might be able to help you out. Another experience many people are familiar with is tweeting while traveling, The Penny Hoarder says. Mentioning a specific airline in a tweet can sometimes lead to a quicker response than asking someone at the airport. Mention your experience, and the company might be inclined to show you some kindness. Be sure to @mention the airline, and use a specific hashtag to make sure your tweet is seen.

9. Know what you’re owed



If you’re delayed because of weather you might be out of luck. All of a sudden, you’re left stranded at the airport with no way of getting home. Know what you’re entitled to as a passenger. Sadly, the truth is not much. “The government doesn’t require airlines to compensate travelers for delayed or canceled flights,” Cleveland.com says. What’s worse is an airline will only compensate passengers if the delay is caused by the airline itself. Weather isn’t covered.

10.  Gather supplies

Find a way to keep yourself occupied and comfortable - visit the convenience stores.

inside an airport