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Airports Provide Reprieve from Delays

With the delays and cancellations that plagued the summer season, it’s likely that many travelers spent more time in airports than they wanted. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy a little extra downtime every once in a while – even if it means getting stuck in an airport for a few extra hours. After all, when else am I going to find time to do nothing other than read a book?

I realize that I’m probably in the minority with this admission, leaving me wondering where the extra time at the airport leaves those who aren’t as easily enthralled by a good read. Luckily, more and more airports are upping their standards to provide some much needed reprieve from delays.

Last Stops for Lost Luggage

For all my gripes about flight delays and airline-service slips this summer, I have to admit that when I book a ticket to Rome, I generally end up in Rome. My suitcase’s final destination, on the other hand, is often quite literally up in the air. And since tighter carry-on restrictions have turned my fellow toiletry fiends and me into reluctant bag checkers, it seems inevitable that we’ll face down empty luggage carousels increasingly often.

The only thing worse than the moment you realize your luggage is lost is the process of retrieving it, especially if you’re traveling abroad. And sometimes, your bag permanently checks out, never to be seen—or stowed—again.

Ten Things to Do on the Tarmac

You’re side lined. Suddenly, unexpectedly, your plane taxies to a holding area, and you’re far from the gate’s amenities to occupy your time. Now that you’re stuck sitting on the tarmac, you need some inspiration, which is where I come in. No need to curse the airlines for wasting your time when you can make use of it.

Sure, we can all make use of the time if our laptops and cell are fully charged. But what happens if the batteries are running low? Suppose you’re saving the last juice for a call upon arrival? If you’re like many people, this is when you start to curse the airlines, unless of course, you can make productive use of the time on the tarmac, or at least pass it pleasantly. You may even wonder when it was that you had such solid time without interruption. It’s kind of nice.

Earn Elite Status – Fast!

Miles. They’re the bread and butter of the frequent traveler. If you’re like me, you hoard miles in every way possible. There’s the miles card; e-shopping; special promotions; and, if you’re an American Airlines AAdvantage member, the Platinum and Gold Challenges — fast tracks to more miles and elite status.

It wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve never heard of the challenges. They’re not posted anywhere on the site, so many consumers aren’t aware that they even exist. I recently enrolled in the Platinum Challenge. My goal: to earn 10,000 points through qualifying flights within three months.