Sr Air Travelers: Survive Delays, Delays & More Delays Print

Q: With all the airport boarding waits, and when the airplane sits on the runway for hours, my temper gets hotter every time it happens. Other than kicking out the window, jumping and running back to the terminal, what can I do to calm down? MRK, Pittsburgh PA

A: Escaping out the airplane window is not a good idea, even during the worst of the wait. Of course, if the air conditioning will be off and you’re sweating like a dishonest politician, bailing out may cross your mind. However, There are safer ways to pass the interminable time. Suggestions:

If permitted, take brisk strolls up and down the aisle. It can alleviate the inertia of being stuck in a cramped seat in a cramped metal tube, and may ease the frustration.

Also, if permitted, and there’s a fairly large empty area, such as by the rear hatch or galley, go there and do some stand and stretch exercises. Do pushes against a bulkhead (not the hatch!) with one or both hands, also try lifts with one foot, knee-up at a time. If fit enough and not restricted by clothing and space, also do a series of squats.

One of the marvels of modern science for pre-flight time-passers is your little personal electronic-digital gizmo, the smartphone. While you wait, work on business, write reports, solve puzzles, watch movies, listen to music, converse, read on-screen books, play games and/or send mail. You can do scores of other busy smartphone things to help pass the time, as well as prevent you from squawking at members of the crew.

If you try concentrating on keeping your eyes, ears and mind busy, you’ll be amazed how the long hours of delay zip by as if they were only 55 minutes each.