Airports as stressful as moving house?

A recent article from the UK’s Daily Mail caught our eyes as it claims people find airports as stressful as moving house. The article claims it questioned 2,000 [British] holidaymakers of which 9 per cent – or almost four million in the wider travelling population – now avoid flying because of airport stress including flight delays, mislaid belongings and getting to the gate on time.

It would certainly be interesting to compare these British findings with some of other countries in order to check for a possible bias in regards to certain airports. As reported on LateDeparture many times (e.g. here for Heathrow’s Terminal 3), Britain’s airports often feel overcrowded which definitely adds to passengers stress levels.

However, we wouldn’t be LateDeparture if we didn’t believe airports can be fun places and certainly disagree with travellers who say “their holidays only start after they left the airport”. At least we think it shouldn’t be that way. So, how can you reduce your stress levels and increase the enjoyment factor at airports. Here are our top 5 tips:

  • Allow plenty of time for the annoying stuff like check-in, immigration and security checks. You can then use any unused time (buffer time) for fun activities at the airport or send off your last office emails.
  • Get yourself in the right state of mind: there will be a lot of people, there will be queues and there might be delays – calculating with all this will help you feel more relaxed as you’re already expecting it
  • Play games at queues: no one likes to queue for a long time, but just standing there and looking at your watch won’t help. Play a little game and have some fun while waiting (see some suggestions can be found here) or at least bring a book or magazine you can read while queuing.
  • Explore the airport with different eyes. People tend to notice the same things over and over, while ignoring other. Why not walk through the airport in the eyes of a different persona? E.g. pretend you are your son, your wife, etc. and see things differently and therefore rediscover the “familiar” airport.
  • If your plane is delayed, don’t worry there’s always extra things you can do – check our archive of reviews for your particular airport (if it’s not reviewed, why don’t you write one yourself?)

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by programwitch]

  • Ema Hoffmann

    I’m with you, I think airports are awesome. I always get the adventure vibe the moment I step on one. And there’s so much people watching to be done!