What to Do If You’re stuck at the Airport

If you are flying during the next few days, chances are likely you’ll be cooling your heals due to big winter storm in the Northeast. But a flight delay doesn’t have to be a totally bad experience.  Arm yourself with a little knowledge of the airports you’ll be traveling through. Upgraded food concessions, mini shopping malls, corridors lined with museum-quality art exhibits, electronic charging and workstations, spas, and even an indoor golf course, combine to bring a bit of sanity to an otherwise stress trip. Here are a few things to do and some of the country’s airports.

  1. Nine million people pass through JFK airport each year and you’ll likely be one of them.  Shops in every price range can be found here. Unique, though is The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store and new restaurants by notable chefs Danny Meyer and Marcus Samuelsson located in newly renovated Concourse B. http://www.jfkiat.com
  1. George Busch International Houston

If you’re waiting here, you’ll never go hungry. There are New Orleans-styled po’ boy sandwiches, Cajun food and sometimes even live music at Bubba’s Grill.  There is also Texas chili in nearly every terminal and biscuits and barbeque from Harlon’s.  If you’ve got hours to wait, enjoy dinner at the revolving restaurant located on the top floor of the airport Marriott Hotel. 

  1.  Philadelphia International Airport

PHL While chilling in the City of Brotherly Love, treat yourself to the sandwich the city is famous for, a Philly Cheese Steak from Philly Finest located in terminal B&C.  Or a soft pretzel topped with honey mustard.  Wash it down with beer at Friday’s Restaurant and walk off dinner at the mini mall of viewing the changing art exhibits. The Marriott Hotel is anchored to the airport or take a train directly into Center City for more hotels. www.phl.org 

  1. Hartfield Atlanta International Airport

ATL Forget Rome, all roads led to Atlanta’s Hartfield International Airport. Grab southern favorites like bar b que chicken or biscuits in Pachal’s Southern Cuisine in concourse A. There is also a major food court in concourse E.  Day rates are available for access to the health club at the Renaissance Concourse hotel (404) 209-9999.  The airport chapel provides a private place to pray and meditate and you will find it located west of the main terminals central vestibule. www.atlanta-airport.com

  1. Baltimore/Washington International Airport

BWI This is one of the nation’s busiest airports, so duck into the Meditation room which is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. to spend some time. The kids will enjoy the make-believe airplane and game room at Pier D.  Flight cancelled? The Sheraton International Hotel offers day rates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information call (410) 859-3300.  Visit the Tom Dixon Aircraft Observation Area, too. www.bwiairport.com

  1. Chicago O’ Hare International

ORD You’ll earn your wings here. This place is huge, but fortunately, there are trains take you from one end to another. A branch of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Medical Center can be found here in Terminal 2 on the upper level. Call (773) 894-5100 for more information. “Cheezburger! Cheezburger! Cheezburger! No Pepsi; Coke. No fries; cheeps.” This infamous line from the Saturday Night Live skit is said to be inspired from the Billy Goat Tavern. A store is located in Terminal 2 of the airport. The nearby O’Hare Hilton provides amenities that include a pool and a dry sauna (773) 686-8000. www.Ohare.com

  1. Charlotte, North Carolina

This is one of the nicest airports to enjoy a flight delay. Slow down and sit a spell in one of the white wooden rocking chairs at this gateway to the south.  Soothing music floats across the atrium from the grand piano on weekends.  Located between the D-E Connector is a full service spa. Sign in and tune out. www.charlotteairport.com

  1. Memphis International Airport

Memphis is known for its four-napkin barbeque dinner and, of course, Elvis.  But would you believe you can experience the soothing sounds of classical music at the airport? Live performances by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra delight passengers in the concourse B rotunda.  For longer delays check surrounding hotels for as little as $89.00. www.mscaa.com

  1. Orlando International

Orlando International is attractively decorated with live palm trees in the atrium. In addition to a wide range of restaurants, the Hemisphere Restaurant, located on the 9th floor of the anchored Hyatt Hotel offers a chance for dinner in an elegant setting away from the rush of the airport crowds. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the airport. http://orlandoairports.net