Thanks to a certain dog-killing, passenger-dragging airline that shall remain unnamed, I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a 15-hour delay for a 13-hour flight. As much as I adore spending lots of time at the airport, what with the fluorescent lights, militaristic TSA agents and Hawaiian shirt-clad dads trying to corral their small children and all, spending half a day there is not exactly my ideal use of time. And with heavy air traffic during the summer, you too might have experience with delayed flights, and you too might be wondering what you can do to help pass the time without becoming overwhelmed with misery. Today’s your lucky day, because the Clog has a comprehensive list of airport-friendly activities that will entertain you right up until your seating group is called to board.
1. Walk around like Oski and count how many people you scare
Yeah, you know the walk. Clasp those hands, widen those eyes and skip like a penguin with its tail on fire. You’ll give your fellow travelers a show, and you can have a blast watching other people experience the same terror we all feel when we see Oski approach. Bonus points if you buy a yellow sweatshirt from the souvenir shop.
2. Try to find a duty-free item that costs more than your rent
This one may be tricky if you live in Berkeley, but I guarantee you there’s a Swarovski necklace or Hermès scarf in one of those shops that could easily sponsor your housing for a month. Because don’t all rich people do their high-fashion shopping at SFO?
3. Find a flight to the most random location possible
Did you know there’s a Paris, Texas? Or a Japanese city called Obama? If you can look at the airport screens without getting furious at the “Delayed” written in red text by your flight, you’ll learn amazing things about geography. And if you get really desperate, just book a one-way ticket to an unfamiliar place and start a new adventure.
4. Unpack everything in your carry-on onto the seats at the gate
If anyone asks what you’re doing, ask them if they’ve heard about TSA’s new pre-boarding screening process that requires all passengers to wipe the dust off every item in their carry-on bag. Warn them that failure to do so will prevent them from boarding, and laugh if they actually believe you.
5. Start a one-person flash mob
One of the best parts about UC Berkeley is that there are always fellow Golden Bears near you wherever you go. A great way to find them is by blasting “Fight for California” on full volume and seeing who starts singing along, If you’re feeling extra ballsy, project it through the microphone at the gate kiosk.
6. Act like you’re famous
If someone even remotely close to you is using their phone, demand that they stop taking pictures of you. When they say they weren’t, proceed to rant about how you just want to live a normal life, and how you’re just at the airport to go visit your ill grandma. When confusion ensues, tell them about your recent recovery from your Tide Pods addiction, then demand that they sign nondisclosure agreements.
This one pretty much speaks for itself. This option is highly recommended for uncoordinated individuals with little parkour experience who are prone to tripping.
8. Sing “99 Bottles of Beer” as loudly as possible, replacing the words with the number of minutes left in your delay
If you execute this correctly, you could get other travelers to join in, and voilà — you’ve made new friends!
9. Ask every individual in the airport if they know what the No. 1 public university in the world is
And if they don’t, remind them.
Whether you’re visiting your grandparents in Asia, taking a senior trip through Europe or flying home from your internship in New York City, don’t let flight delays put a damper on your summer. We at the Clog wish everyone joyful and safe travels.
Contact Hannah Nguyen at [email protected].