Airports can be wonderful places to spend unexpected recreational time. With airlines canceling flights left and right, chances are you’ll be stuck in Minneapolis, Atlanta, or Minneapolis again.

If your flight is canceled, take a deep breath and enjoy all of the relaxing things you probably don’t get to do in regular life when you want to.

  • Get Drunk – Airports aren’t littered with bars for nothing. Have a few drinks somewhere near your gate. You don’t have to drive anywhere and if you’re lucky there will be enough alcohol left in your system when the plane takes off for a solid block of sleep.
  • Read Tabloids For Free – Many people spend a few minutes each time they are in grocery store lines reading celebrity gossip, dirt, and sex. Read as many as you want for free or buy a couple. When you’re done reading place them next to you with a piece of paper that reads: “For Sale: $1”. People will buy them, trust me.

  • Get That Workout You Missed (Or Have Been Missing There Chubby) – Walking around an airport for 30 minutes burns the same calories as doing it outside. Add a couple of carry-ons and you’ll get your heart going and wear yourself out a bit for a good nap. To burn additional calories walk up and down the longest set of stairs you can find or walk backwards on automated walkways.
  • Walking around the airport with a good pair of eyes can sometimes land you some discarded business-class tickets. Many people catching connecting flights just leave them on tables, chairs, or the floor. Find one and you can get yourself into 1rst or business class lounges.

Workaholics and the Myspace-addicted can look for hidden (free) wireless networks or run these 12 applications from a USB drive. As the evening wears on make sure to scope a good place to sleep, and secure your luggage by wrapping it around your leg.

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[photo by: Alexandre Chang]