On Passing Time in Airports

Jordan Archer
Jordan Archer

I am known for being a little dramatic at times (cue head nods from all members of my family), but I do not exaggerate in the slightest when I say this: on every travel day in the month of October, my final flight leg (usually I have three or four flights) has been delayed at least an hour. At least. Sometimes longer. There was one particularly frustrating day in which I boarded my already one hour late plane, sat down, fell asleep, and was awoken by the flight attendant announcing over the speaker that we needed to deplane and board a new aircraft. It was nearing 11 p.m. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

All this extra time I have dealt with this month has given me the opportunity to do some airport exploring. The following is a list of tips to pass the time in some of my very favorite airports:

  1. Eat at Brioche Doree at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). I studied abroad last summer and this was my favorite chain restaurant in Paris. Eating here makes me nostalgic for the days when I was shopping along the Champs-Elysees and alleviates my frustration about a three-hour layover. If French food is not your favorite, O’Hare has other fabulous options! Stop by Garrett Popcorn or this little tea stand that has boba and tons of different pastries.
  2. Get your nails done at Nashville (BNA). There is a cute little shop in the Southwest terminal that has $20 manicures. They even do shellac! A manicure does not take long and makes me feel so relaxed. Definitely a must during a long travel day!
  3. Shop at Vera Bradley at Indianapolis (IND). This little shop has everything! That is where I bought my laptop case and hair straightener holder. The hair straightener holder is particularly useful when I am rushing to get ready for the airport and my straightener is still hot!
  4. Have a leisurely lunch at Café Intermezzo at Atlanta (ATL). I once had a three-hour layover here, so I ordered a cappuccino, a sandwich and dessert. The wait staff was so friendly and the food was amazing!
  5. People watch everywhere. I swear, airports are the best places for this! Every day I encounter people speaking different languages coming from and going to all corners of the world. There are definitely some weirdos out there, but I have learned that if you stick your nose in a book and put in some headphones, they are far less likely to bother you!

Layovers do not always have to be a bad thing! Find something fun to do to pass the time, and if you are feeling frustrated, I recommend finding some chocolate. 😉

Safe travels,



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