Are We There Yet? – Grounded

Dealing with flight delays.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

While the imminent danger of a natural disaster is scary in and of itself, it can also cause major travel delays. Whether you’re en route to a targeted bad-weather zone or even just passing through one, storms can cause major headaches, especially when you’re trapped at an airport. Here’s how to get through it:

– Accept it. There’s nothing you can do to change the current situation. It is what it is – stop wasting time letting your frustration well up, take a deep breath, and just let it go: you’re delayed. Period.

– Find an escape. You’ll need to let off some steam so go for a walk. Don’t just sit there and stew – move around. Do a few push-ups or jumping jacks at an empty gate. Get into a good book or plug into some tunes. Or if you really want some immediate relief, stretch your legs (just as those bratty toddlers go barrelling by for the umpteenth time). You’ll feel a whole lot better.

– If you’re with someone, play a game, like “name that couple.” Find a particularly unique or humorous duo and turn them into characters – decide what their back story is, or each take on a role and sub in your own improv convo. I mean, after all, the young lady is with an older man who is clearly her sugar daddy, and that bickering married couple is undoubtedly arguing about why she caught him wearing her Prada heels… again. The time you’re stuck at terminal 14 will just fly by.

– Don’t overindulge. Although it may seem like a good way to kill a few hours, stuffing your face with all of the local fare (a fattening array of light-bulb plasticized pizza, dry burgers, Mrs. Fields cookies, Baskin Robbins ice cream, and three venti lattes with the extra whipped cream) will only leave you full, tired, and cranky. Not to mention you’ll have to pee continuously once you finally do make it onto the plane and climb over the couple who you guessed earlier work at a bakery test kitchen.

– Treat yourself. Sure, it’s no fun being delayed and stuck in an airport but there are lots of ways to do a little something special for me, myself and I. A lot of airports have shoe shine machines, so give your kicks a much-needed buff. Perhaps there’s a nearby salon – get a quick trim or treat yourself to an old-fashioned shave (or, if you’re feeling really secure in your masculinity, venture to try a manicure). Sometimes you can even find massage chairs or actual stands where a therapist can give you a rub-down in 15-minute increments.

Reward yourself. You deserve it – after all, you’re enduring the thorn in every traveller’s side: a bad weather delay.


Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at