Greetings from my two-and-a-half-hour layover in San Francisco. I’m not exactly suffering, though because airports aren’t really that bad when you think about it. Here are some pros to holiday layovers.
1. You can actually window shop.
Airports are full of gift shops, familiar expensive retailers, and weird niche stores that pander to stereotypes about the city you’re in. (Or that are just bad puns, like San Franpsycho, the thing I hate most about my layover today.) There’s cute stuff for sale and fun slogans galore. The problem with window shopping in a normal mall is you just end up shopping-shopping instead. But not in an airport! Not only are you stopped by “how much for a bottle of hot sauce?” but you have the added restriction of “where would I even put it?” to make you a window shopping purist.
2. It’s a great relationship test.
Airports can be unpredictable and stressful, just like marriage. If you really want to know if you and your partner can go the distance, try traveling with them during the holidays and see if they can A) not make you late for your flight and B) deal with airline delays without biting your head off.
Shoutout to the couple I overheard bickering as they headed to customer service after an airline employee allegedly ruined their trip. You’ll either make it out stronger, or realize you’re not right for each other. Either way, think of it as a growing experience.
2.5. Airports are actually pretty great if you take guilty pleasure in schadenfreude.
3. Sometimes, there are dogs.
Okay so most of them are technically service dogs and you’re usually not allowed to play with them. But you can stare at them as you wait in the eternal boarding line and think “aw, that dog is cute” instead of thinking “oh my god how are they going to shove all these people into that tiny flying metal tube.”
4. When all else fails, at least there’s internet.
It seems like almost every airport has internet now, and for free. So no matter why your flight is delayed (because of a broken faucet, because the plane is too heavy, because you have the misfortune of being on the same flight as United’s next viral scandal), at least you can take a quiz to figure out which 90s sitcom star you are based on your cookie dough preferences or something. This also means you can Snapchat/Instagram/live-tweet all your grievances without cutting into your data plan. Finding the perfect set of gifs to emphasize the situation will at least temporarily distract you from your pain.
5. Or you can pretend there’s no internet.
Honestly, the best thing about flights and layovers is that people will usually assume you’re busy and hard to contact. So rather than check your work email or deal with other productive things that you think you should be doing, you could also just…not. Sit still and read a book for once. Wander around. Call your mother. Write a blog post indirectly complaining about airports. Think of it like a little retreat, complete with screaming babies.
What’s your favorite (or, you know, not-so-favorite) thing about airports? Let us know in the comments because I have more flights in early January.
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image courtesy of vanveen