airports - airplanes - delays

AT APPROXIMATELY THREE PM today while I was checking in my bag, I got the news. My flight had been delayed for not one, not two but for 6 hours.

Now, how the airline (cough WestJet cough) didn’t know before we were even supposed to start arriving at the airport (2 hours prior) that the plane had not yet left Toronto (which is a 5 hour flight) and therefore could not – unless by some sort of miracle – possibly be here for an on-time take off…is completely beyond me. Not to mention I distinctly remember clicking a little box last night while I was checking in to: “notify me of any delays or cancellations for this flight” so I guess it’s safe to say that feature’s broken. Sweet.

Anyhoo –  I quickly realized I had to make a choice – a choice that I believe is the kind of thing that differentiates the completely intolerable human beings in the world with the nice ones. SHIT HAPPENS. And no matter how much yelling and groaning and grief you give the agents – they can’t make the plane get here faster (but they can slip you ‘airport money’ – more on that later). So. I decided to make it the best 6 hours of my life (total exaggeration for emphasis).

How to make 6 hours stranded at the airport fun:

1. You turn to your tweeps for ideas and entertainment
My friend @RunSoulCycle suggested I play a real life version of “Guess Who” (so brilliant) but because I’m flying solo (making this game kind of difficult) her and @thatgirlsix co-created a scavenger hunt for me instead – which I nailed, by the way.

2. you talk to the airline agent and score free “airport money”
I’m serious. It’s like monopoly money but with real value (apparently this delay was worth $16.50). I bought myself dinner and a drink (drinking would be number 1.5 on this list btw – you must treat yourself to a drink).

3. You take care of the things you’ve been meaning to do forever with institutions that are only open during business hours (aka the hours that all the people who can actually take advantage of said institutions are working… I digress). 
So I called the Vancouver Italian Consulate to look into how I can obtain my Italian Passport… though I didn’t get anywhere since they must have left early… ARG.

4. You do work. 
I know, booooo-ring. But it had to get done at some point and it might as well be while you’re stranded…

5. You get a pedicure.
Seriously. It’ll cost you a pretty penny but they throw in a pair of (totally uncool and too big) flip-flops so you don’t ruin the polish when you’re running to the gate in your boots. Note: these flip flops were also featured in scavenger hunt #4 socks and sandals.

6. You buy a book.
Because you’re going to be here awhile and there are 100000000 other people also trying to use the free WIFI which makes it incredibly slow. No internet connection pretty much renders all your devices useless. So you read – and you read a cheesy Nicolas Sparks book because you can. There I said it.

7. You finally invest in an inflatable neck pillow
And add it to your travel arsenal. Let’s be serious you’re gonna run out of things to do on the flight now that you’ve had to entertain yourself for 6 extra hours on the ground. And you won’t be arriving til 5:30AM so you’re probably going to be tired…

8. You bat your eyes at the agent and earn more “airport money”
Cha-ching. I’m ready for round two! This one clocked in at $10.00.

9. You exhaust all social networks, text everyone you know and then charge your devices.
Cause by now they are definitely dead.

10. You blog.
Cause you’re slowly going crazy and suddenly this seems like a good topic to cover.

Until today, I never fully appreciated all the amenities that airports offer. YVR for that matter, is a pretty wickedly awesome airport and certainly one of the best ones to get “stranded” in – in my opinion. So all in all, I think I made the best of the last 6 hours – only thing I could have used was a totally blissed out yoga class!

ps. you can follow a more ‘in the moment’ look at my #airportdelaysurvival on twitter and instagram!