List love: the ultimate flight delay pack list

In the last two months, I’ve been on 14 flights. I’ve been delayed, or missed a connection, on 7 of them. I’ve spent a grand total of 15 additional hours in airports, just waiting out the delays. Which means I’ve spent about 43 hours traveling to, from, and waiting in airports in the last two months.

That’s nearly 2 whole days of my life I’ll never get back. 3 waking days. And way more pre-5am starts than anyone should have to endure over the course of a year, let alone months.

It’s also, however, made me a bit of an expert on packing to ensure that whatever delay I’m faced with, I’ve got enough to distract me. Here are the things you’re going to need to face any length of time in an airport with any real conviction.

5. A laptop with a long battery life

Best place to do the things you want to do but haven’t had time to do? The airport. File those emails in your inbox. Write those blog posts. Reconcile your monthly bank statement into pre-determined expense buckets and analyse your spending patterns (build that spreadsheet, you know you want to). You’ll feel like you’ve actually managed to achieve something in all that dead time.

4. Your charger

Never throw your cables for the above into your checked luggage thinking you’ve got more than enough power to last you the journey. And never run down your battery while you’re waiting at the airport. You’ll just end up kicking yourself as soon as you get to your economy seat and remember that you’ve got 7 hours ahead of you and no power point. Find yourself some power in the airport and bunk down, plugged in next to it, so when you eventually head onto your flight you’re still at 100%. Better yet, make sure you’ve got your cord from laptop to mobile so you can keep that on the charge as well – you’ll be burning through the battery life as you inundate your other half with disgruntled updates.

3. Something sweet

Like I’ve said before, sweets are for sad people. You will be sad. So be prepared with something that can distract you for 30 seconds and give you the impression that there is indeed hope, before your blood sugar levels slump again.

2. Eye drops

It does not matter how well hydrated you stay, your eyes will be pink rimmed and bloodshot by the time you stumble off your flight, 4 hours late for your scheduled meetings. The last thing your colleagues want to see is your late face looking like you’re about to fall asleep at the boardroom table. Buy those pearly white eye drops, and use with abandon before you get to the office.

1. Whatsapp

So in reality, whatsapp on it’s own isn’t going to be very interesting. What you need, that goes hand in hand with whatsapp, is friends who live all around the world. Because whatever time zone you’re in – you’ll be able to find someone to bitch to about the fact that you’re stuck in an airport, again. So make sure you’ve downloaded the app before you leave home, and you’ve got your friends numbers stored at the ready. Be prepared to hate them as they tell you they’re currently on the beach / eating steak / watching the footy, but hey, it’s better than being completely alone on an uncomfortable chair, right?

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One thought on “List love: the ultimate flight delay pack list

  1. Good ideas. I also pack a couple of small magazines (such as Reader’s Digest) and books — when I finish the magazines I leave them behind for another traveler.

    I also try to get in some walking if I’m waiting for a flight. Some airports can be fun to explore.

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