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What are some flight hacks for a long layover?


Some layovers are short. Some layovers are lonnnnnggg. I recently had one that was 5 hours and shamelessly binged half of a new Netflix show.  
For those longer connections, how do you prepare? Do you bring a book? Download a movie? Befriend someone in the terminal? 


Re: What are some flight hacks for a long layover?

Explorer B

Three things I do/have done in the past:


1) If the layover is long enough and somewhere exciting, I will actually leave the airport and go explore! To prepare for that, I check my bags so that I don’t have to worry about lugging around extra stuff while I explore. You don’t even have to go see a bunch of sights - it can be as simple as taking a rideshare to some really good restaurant. I just make sure I only have a backpack with me.


2) One time on a shorter (around 2 hours) layover, my husband and I met a friend from college who lived where our layover was. He met us close to the airport and it was such a fun catch up time and since we never left the airport, I wasn’t worried about missing our next flight (especially because it was the Long Beach airport, IYKYK!). 


3) You said it! A good book or TV show goes a very long way!!! This works for long layovers and long flights!

Re: What are some flight hacks for a long layover?

Frequent Flyer A

My tip is for those who have minimal carry-on luggage and preferably have PreCheck, CLEAR or Priority Express Lanes access for quick TSA re-screening. If the layover is in excess of several hours based on the scheduled departure time of the second leg of the flight, I would see what public transit options feed into the airport and take a quick bus or train ride into town and plan an exploration of the city. 


Of course, I would pre-plan this ahead of time to ensure the exploration would be workable and safe. I would plan the stopover so that I would be back at the airport and in line at the TSA Checkpoint no later than one hour prior to scheduled departure time (30 minutes prior to Board Time) if one has PreCheck, CLEAR, or Priority Express Lanes; otherwise 90 minutes prior to departure (or 1 hour prior to Board Time) for Standard Screening.


One thing to keep in mind: If the second leg of the flight posts a significant delay resulting in an even a longer layover, I would still go by the scheduled departure time and be back at the airport then (e.g. If the second leg of my flight is scheduled to leave at 4pm and it's delayed 'til 6pm, I would not hang out in the city 'til 5pm to return; I would still return no later than 2:30 or 3pm as if the flight was on time). That's because delayed flights may recover time en-route or be re-assigned a different aircraft or crew.

Re: What are some flight hacks for a long layover?

Aviator A

A lot of times I’ll grab a snack and drink and people watch or listen to music or work on my next trip or get other work done. I’ll find that quiet gate and chill on occasion I’ll check to see if an earlier flight is available (or a delayed one that I can still leave earlier than the long connection) 


walking airports can be fun if there are good food places or slots

Re: What are some flight hacks for a long layover?

Explorer B

I have two fav must-do's to look forward to when I have a long connection:


1.) Bring my Kindle to binge a book (**and the charger!!**)

When buried in a good book, you're not at C19 waiting for your plane to arrive! You're in a make-believe forest or the 1930s or on a tropical vacation. Reading is the fastest way to make 4 hours feel like 15 minutes. I'm obsessed that Kindles don't take up much space or weight in my tote bag. Fellow Fourth Wing lovers, I know you know what a difference it makes. 


2.) Talk to someone older and wiser to learn a lesson! 

I know most people are blocking out the world with top-of-the-line earphones and endless texts to answer. But at almost every gate is going to be an older gentleman or lady who would be so happy to chat and have someone to tell their stories to. Over the years, I've met the most incredible people who have had the most wild lives who are patiently waiting out their long layover near the pre-boarding area. It's so special to share a connection with them and just ask about their lives, experiences, and lessons.