Airport Anxiety: One Nuisance, Six Solutions

October 4th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Crying kids, lost luggage, delayed departures and cumbersome crowds. Even when things go according to plan, navigating New York airports can try even the tempers of seasoned sojourners. Throw in airport improvements and inclement weather and a jovial weekend jaunt can quickly turn into destination disaster.

But traveler tantrums are an international occurrence. In 2008, a woman flying from Hong Kong to San Francisco threw a fit – and herself apparently – at security when she wasn’t allowed to board her flight because she was late. Canadian politician Helena Guergis flipped out on flight attendants in 2010 when she showed up only 15 minutes before her scheduled departure. But passengers aren’t the only ones who experience travel trauma; some staff are saying “shove it” to unruly riders.

Just this year JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater became a runway renegade after letting a passenger have it and then having off with company bought beer through an emergency exit.

So what should one do to stay sane in harrowing airport situations? Consider one of these six solutions.

1. Have a Cosmo, Not a Cow

Some airports have no last call even though getting on the plane isn’t always a party.

But round-the-clock bars boost city budgets as well as the morale of weary road warriors. The city of Chicago recently approved a plan to serve alcohol at their airport 24 hours a day to help make up for a $655 million city budget deficit.

2. Don’t Yell, Do Yoga

Why is doing a downward-facing dog at an airport concourse any more strange than doing an extended triangle in Times Square? Hey, downward-facing dog could keep a passenger from having a downward-spiraling airport experience.

3. Get Your Shoes Shined

Getting your shoes shined is a way to kill time in airports that many – especially women – don’t consider. Try it. Getting your battered boots buffed may be so pleasant that you end staring at your reflection in your shoes, too preoccupied to complain about getting bumped from your flight. But beware, the thrifty indulgence can apparently become addicting and create more airport anxiety than it relieves.

4. Go to the Spa

There are few situations a good message can’t mitigate. Can’t afford an airport masseuse – try a massage chair. The massage chair may not be the stuff of five star hotels but it sure beats sitting in cramped seats near your gate, scowling at the useless flight staff.

5. Play the Slots

This is a nice option for people traveling out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Depending on how your weekend in Sin City went though, you may not want to take the additional gamble. But, apparently the odds of winning big on the slots at McCarran might be better than the odds of finding love there.

6. Don’t Shout About It, Shop About It

Sure, you’ve already spent a ton on your ticket but spending your energy on a situation you can’t change is just as wasteful. If you must wait, you may as well look fabulous doing it. But of course if you go shopping and the crew then loses the new purchases, an assault of Naomi Campbell proportions may be justifiable.

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