Home Airports How To Kill Time In An Airport (And Not Spend Money – Or At Least Not Much)

How To Kill Time In An Airport (And Not Spend Money – Or At Least Not Much)

by SharonKurheg

Whether you happened to get to the early super early, have an ultra long layover, or are “stranded” until whatever is wrong can be fixed, being stuck at an airport is not a whole lot of fun. Of course, if you have access to a club lounge (or if you don’t, you might still be able to get into one), it will make your time more comfortable. But if not, well, even if you kill some time by shopping, eating and drinking, eventually your’e going to want some other things to keep you busy. How about these?

Talk To People

I can’t believe I’m putting this first, especially since I’m an introvert who hates (HATES!) talking to strangers. But if you can find someone who seems nice and interesting, it’ll help pass the time and who knows, you may wind up with a lifelong friend (or if not, an hourlong one).

Return Loose Luggage Carts (And Maybe Get Money!)

cart.jpgEver see Tom Hanks in “The Terminal?” Then you know what I mean. Depending on the airport, if you return a loose luggage cart, you can sometimes get a small amount of money back. Return enough carts over a few hours and it could give you a nice stockpile of change.


There’s currently only one airport in the United States that boasts a gym inside security (it’s in BWI), but there’s nothing stopping you from walking or even power walking through each leg of an airport terminal. You’ll burn some calories and even stretch your muscles before that long flight.

See What Free Activities The Airport Offers

Brussels Airport has foosball tables. Knoxville Airport has rocking chairs EVERYWHERE. There are free movies at Portland International Airport. Singapore’s Changi Airport has lots and LOTS of free stuff to do (I’d even venture to say it’s the #1 airport to hope to get stuck in). Austin and Memphis both offer concerts galore, there’s even a brewery tour in Munich Airport, and bunch of airports house mini museums.

Puppy Therapy

Nope, I’m not kidding. If you’re in San Francisco, LAX, Miami or San Jose, look for the dogs (and sometimes other animals) wearing “Wag Brigade” vests. These therapy dogs have been hand picked to help travelers get rid of their stress from traveling.


Photo via www.flysfo.com

Play Pokémon Go

If you’re a fan of the game, airports can be a great place to find some awesome Pokémon.

Do Yoga

San Francisco International, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway, Miami International and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airports offer free yoga rooms. Most also have complimentary loaner mats available.

Learn CPR

At over a dozen airports, passengers can learn to save a life while waiting for their flight by taking a free course on an interactive hands-only CPR kiosk. A “how-to” video is followed by a practice session on a rubber manikin and a 30-second CPR test. Click here for more info.


Photo via www.passengerselfservice.com

Take A Free City Tour

We already told you about walking tours you can find in a whole lot of cities, but there are some airports that have tours that start from within the airport! Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Narita International Airport in Japan, and Changi Airport in Singapore will take you on a tour of the city while you wait for your flight. Check out this page for more possible tours.

Play Airport BINGO

About 10 years ago, I was stuck in an airport in Seattle for about 4 hours. To help pass the time, I wrote an airport BINGO game on a napkin. Iphones were brand new and I had one, so I had grand plans of getting rich by turning it into an app someday. Unfortunately, I had no idea of HOW to turn it onto an app though, so I never did, and remain comparatively poor to this very day. But if you do a search for “Airport BINGO” on Google, you’ll see that apparently other people did ;-). Click here for an online version.

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Barbara April 22, 2018 - 12:48 am

On my way to Israel last summer I could’ve taken a tour during a long layover in Istanbul. Turkey. You do a lunch or dinner him and they do have some very long layovers there so that’s my next plan of attack next time I go out that way

SharonKurheg April 22, 2018 - 8:56 am

Very cool! Didn’t know they offered that. Thanks! 🙂


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