How do you
kill time during
an unexpected layover?
My trip to LA proved to be an unqualified success–full of wonderful times and squeal-worthy surprises (turns out someone who has CONTRIBUTED TO THIS VERY COLUMN is a part-time personal assistant to a genuine cinematic icon), but it has taught me a very important lesson: Never take a one-hour layover.
For no reason other than the pernicious amusement of gods I don’t even believe in (which may explain why they don’t like me) BOTH of my initial flights on the two ends of the trip were delayed by 45 minutes. In the first case this left me with 25 minutes to get off the plane, find the necessary (and world’s slowest-moving) shuttle to take me to the relevant terminal on the complete opposite side of the San Francisco airport. Due to some luck, I managed to make it with 8 minutes to spare.
But when the exact-same scenario occurred five days later in Seattle, I wasn’t so lucky. My connecting flight was overbooked, so when the airline computer noted my flight was late my seat was given to someone else and I was S.O.L. as I arrived breathless (and JUST in time) to the proper gate.
This means I’m almost 2 hours into my 4 hr 15 minute wait for my next flight. New to international air travel, I reached out to others for advice on what to do in this situation. Fortunately for me, I came prepared to combat boredom–the question was what would be the most comfortable and preferable way to do it.
Based on the suggestion of a friend who has frequently traveled for her work, I decided to buy a day pass for the lounge operated by the same airline that put me in this situation. As I write this, I’m sitting in said lounge trying to drink my rum & coke much faster than I usually do, because I need to drink five of them to justify the cost.
It’s not cheap and kinda underwhelming, but it definitely strikes me as a better option than sitting in the terminal. But I’m happy to admit I might be an idiot.
Once I get this finished and scheduled, I’m going to start watching one of the 70s black action movies I have saved on my laptop. Not a terrible way to waste some time. And–since I will now never book a flight with a one-hour layover–it just might become a traveling tradition.