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5 Things I Always Do While Hanging Out in the Airport

I’ve never been bored in an airport.  From baggage check to baggage claim, I love the whole process.

airport with people and airliner in sky

I love to travel, and I love to fly.  Lots and lots of other people do, too.  It’s staggering, really, though, how quickly airline traffic has become so accessible to the masses.  Southwest Airlines alone now operates almost 4000 flights a day to 98 cities with more than 100 MILLION CUSTOMERS A YEAR!  For OverFiftyers, that’s an incredible concept, considering most of us grew up only flying on special occasions with our dressed-up grandmothers.


Not everyone likes to fly like I do, but if you do – or if you just need some fresh inspiration to make it more fun, here’s my list of what I do every time I find myself with a little extra time between flights.

1.  Catch up on e-mail.  This involves mostly deleting from an inbox that’s consistently too dadgum full.

2.  Browse the bookstore.  I always take pictures of the books I might like to read, then add the titles to my Austin Public Library e-version wish list.  With the Overdrive app on my phone or iPad, I can click and read anything, anytime, from this very, very, very long list. smiley face


3.  Get coffee (if there’s a Starbucks).  Last weekend, I got a great cup of coffee at the Dallas Love Field Starbucks.  That group of ladies behind the counter was a powerhouse team of baristas!  They operated like some kind of caffeinated supply chain, ending with a pleasant voice calling my name, sliding my hot coffee over the granite counter, and loudly, cheerfully blessing me: “You have a GREAT day, Honey.” Way to go, ladies.  Who knows how many of Southwest’s millions have been encouraged by that kind of luvving enthusiasm. (Tip: don’t try to order ahead with your Starbucks app.  It’s not allowed.

However, with lickety-split service like theirs, you will hardly notice.)

4.  Call my brother.  This is my favorite part.  We don’t get to talk nearly enough.  I love my brother like nobody’s business.  When I call, he answers the very same way, every single time:  “Hello, Sister!”  And then we’re off and running on a fabulous conversation.

Call your brother, I say.  Nothing passes the lag time in any better way.

5.  Walk.  From one end to the other, things typically look the same from airport to airport, but you never know – there might be something new to see.  If your flight plan takes you through Colorado, you can always reserve a spot on The Denver International Airport’s public art walking tour.  If you’re flying into Austin, the live music capital of the world, be sure to check out the life-size guitars at baggage claim. img_4284

Our granddaughter will be flying to Austin for Thanksgiving this year with her mom.  I think I’ll create a little scavenger hunt checklist for her, and maybe when they’re between flights, they can walk around and do a little scavenging.

While I was thinking about what I always do in an airport, I Googled a few other travelers’ lists.  Check out Ryan Eller’s 101 things here.  My list is way tame compared to his!

Last weekend when my college girlfriends and I were two hours early for our flight, we were totes pooped from all our fun.  We should have caught our second wind and attempted #30. smiley face


Encouraging intentional adventure, whether in the air or the air-port,


PS – What do you do to pass the time before or between flights? Have you personally witnessed (or participated in) a flash mob? Share your comments below. I’d love to hear!









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  • Brenda

    Thanks for commenting, Kathy. Great stories!

  • Kathy Adams

    I have never been in a flash mob or seen one in person, but would love both! I too love my brother and must agree waiting in an airport presents great opportunities for intentional conversation. I ran into Patrick Duffy at LAX once, got an autograph from the then coach of my beloved Cowboys Barry Switzer. I also met Ruth Stegalls son Red,of the famed Cowboy Poetry Circuit. She was one of my second grade teachers and an agent of Gods love; however,he wasn’t impressed my enthusiasm. I found him to be a Poot!
    One of the most interesting things I’ve encounter while waiting for my return flight out of Bangkok to Amarillo was a large group infants and toddlers all contained in a gate area,none of which were wearing diapers . There were several ladies with them that appeared to be Nuns or perhaps they Nannys. After they boarded the gate agent announced that each child was an orphan enroute to meet their forever families. Both an odd moment all those bare bottomed sweeties and a joyous one. I still wonder why no diapers,hopefully they took care of that after they departed the gate area. Enjoy your Granddaughter, she will love a scavenger hunt and keep up the good work, I look forward to reading your wit and wisdom.