How to Kill Time at the Airport

If you’re like me, you somehow always get to the airport obnoxiously early, despite all your attempts not to. On the one hand, having extra time at the airport is kind of nice–it’s like a little bubble where you’re forced to just chill out and relax (because we obviously aren’t going to use our time there productively and do work or anything absurd like that). But it can also get BO-RING. So here are some ways you can kill that time and entertain yourself.

Obviously, people watch

Which really just means judge people. Judge them ’til the cows come home. Judge what they’re wearing (cargo pants? really?), their haircuts (why did you curl your hair for a 6 AM flight? Why?), their choice of food/drink (head shake at the 9 AM McDonald’s eaters, thumbs up at the 9 AM beer drinkers), their reading material (let’s hope you’re lucky enough to catch a Danielle Steel person), their family members (obnoxious, unlovable kids? Unwanted, tag-along grandparents? Unhappily married spouses?), pets (cute but reasonable dogs, or THOSE people who actually travel with cats, and, worse yet, have leashes for them), luggage (designer but they’re still flying Southwest? That’s sad for them), and the list goes on.

Visit the different terminals

Don’t limit yourself to your shitty gate area that only has one “Crews” or “Hudson News” and some off-brand French bakery where a yogurt parfait costs $12. Instead, go find the terminal that has MULTIPLE Starbucks, at least one place that serves ice cream in a soft form (frozen yogurt, milkshake, soft serve, etc.), a bathroom with more than 3 stalls and paper towels instead of hand dryers, and where the yogurt parfaits only cost $7.50. You know no bounds! Spread your wings and fly the coop, little birdie! The rest of the airport is your oyster, so see what it has to offer.

Sit at the bar and pretend to be someone else

No matter what time of day it is–the airport is a vacuum where normal societal rules don’t apply. Order a drink and make conversation with the other sad people there. But don’t tell them one single true thing about yourself–make up every little detail, from your name to your occupation to your medical history. For example, you could be Thelma from North Dakota who’s headed to a Tupperware convention. Or Kayte, spelled “K-a-Y-t-e,” and you were born in New York but your mother is Huguenot and your father is Prussian so you don’t really consider yourself American, more a citizen of the world, because you’ve always lived abroad besides your boarding school stint in Hartford and speak 7 languages and have a British-ish accent that somehow fluctuates sentence to sentence and really prefer Lanvin if you’re going to wear ballet flats, but your go-to handbag is an Hermes.

Try to sneak into the first class lounges

Just play it cool, and if you can’t get in subtly, make a huge fuss–when they say you’re not on the list, or you need an access card to open the door, or a special ticket, insist that there has been a grave error, and you absolutely definitely should be on the list, you’re a platinum member of ALL airlines and this is an injustice and is it because you’re black (even if you’re not black) or because you’re a woman (even if you’re not a woman) or because you’re a senior citizen (even if you’re not a senior citizen)? And then stage a sit-in.

See how many people you can get to watch your bags

Say something along the lines of, “Would you mind watching these while I use the restroom?” And if they agree to, then yell out, “THAT WAS A TEST AND YOU FAILED. What if there had been a bomb in my bag?? Or anthrax? Or Ebola? You, sir, are basically a terrorist.”

Pretend to be an airline employee

Walk around telling people you’re the “designated safety officer” for their flight and ask them to please listen up while you demonstrate safety procedures. And then just make a bunch of random arm movements that look more like an interpretive dance routine.

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