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Traveling to different destinations is a fun experience that provides many benefits. It’s a great way to learn about different ways of living, immerse yourself in foreign cultures, try different foods, and see new places. It’s fun and exciting, and something that everyone should experience in their lives. 

But a part of traveling that isn’t so fun is getting stuck at the airport. Whether you’re heading to a different country or you’re planning on going home, getting stuck can really suck— especially if you’re in a foreign country. While nobody wants the experience to happen, it’s not always avoidable. You could be stuck for a number of reasons—changed flight times, poor weather conditions, slow lines that caused delays, or a missed connection. Here’s what to do if one of those things happens to you. 

Take Action

Figure Out the Situation

First, it’s important to figure out whether your flight has been delayed or canceled. Once you know that, figure out if you’re going to be transferred to another flight, or when the next upcoming flight is scheduled and if you’re responsible for booking it. You can speak with a representative at the airport or check the airline’s website using your phone or laptop to find this information faster if there’s a long line up. Keep in mind that the website may be slow or experience delays if other passengers are doing the same thing.  

Book a Different Flight

If your flight isn’t coming soon and you’re not going to be automatically transferred to another flight, book the next upcoming flight. If you need to get out or catch a connecting flight faster, check out other airlines and see when their upcoming flights are. Make sure you contact an airline representative or cancel online to get a refund for your first ticket. 

Contact Your Travel Agent

If you booked your flight or vacation package through your travel agent, get in touch with them as soon as possible. Travel agents have access to specific phone lines provided by airlines that can get their travelers perks and solutions faster and more efficiently. They also have closer connections with airline staff, which will make it easier to land you the last seat on an outgoing alternative flight. Therefore, it’s better to contact your travel agent and tell them about the situation as soon as possible, so they can help you get home faster and make it easier to revise your travel plans when needed.

Wait It Out

If your plane isn’t boarding or there are delays, wait it out before you panic and book a different flight. In some cases, certain weather conditions can cause delays or staff might need to do a double-check of the plane and delay a flight for everyone’s safety and security. 

Waiting it Out

Whether you’re waiting for the delay to be over, you’ve been scheduled in for a different flight, or you booked an alternative, you’re already at the airport and now you need to wait. What can you do while you wait? We have a few suggestions, depending on how much time you have and where you’re located:

Head to the City

If you have a wait time that’s as long as 10 hours, you might not want to spend those in the airport. If you’re not too far from the city, why not head out and explore while you have the chance? You can walk around, book a tour, go to a restaurant, or check out a bar. Just make sure you watch the clock!

Take Your Time to Rest

Whether you’re feeling tired and don’t want to walk around much or your delay isn’t long enough for you to head out to the city, now might be a good time to take advantage of the delay and rest. See if your airline has a specific lounge where you can relax, sit down by the gates, or find an airport cafe or bar where you can take a rest. You can nap (if you set an alarm), read a book, take out your travel journal, edit your pictures, or take out your headphones and listen to music. You can also get a couple of drinks or find some food. 

Book A Place to Stay

If you have a really long delay, staying in the airport probably wouldn’t be your most ideal situation. You can see if there are nearby hotels that you can check into, whether it’s just for a few hours or overnight. Book a room for a few hours to take a long, refreshing nap in your own space, or book a room to get a full night’s sleep. This way, you’ll have privacy, comfort, access to amenities such as water and a shower, and you won’t have to worry about watching your luggage.

Find Activities Nearby

When you don’t have time to head out to the city but you don’t want to sit in the airport, and you’re not tired enough to stay inside or spend money on a hotel room, you might think you’re out of options for activities. In that case, find an activity that will keep you preoccupied without heading out to the city. You can go for a long walk (just make sure you don’t get too lost) or see if there’s any form of entertainment within or nearby the airport. 

While getting stuck in the airport can suck, it’s important to stay calm and try not to panic. Even if the situation seems tough and uncertain, there will always be a way to get out and get on your way to your destination. Whatever you choose to do, stay aware of your options and keep an eye on your luggage!

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