How to Have Fun When Your Flight is Delayed

Roz Warren

Although I’m always eager to get to my destination, I’m never that bummed out when I arrive at the airport and learn that my flight has been delayed.

Why? Two words: Airport massage.

When they’ve got a few airport hours to kill, some folks head right to the bar. But when I learn that my flight that my 8:00 flight won’t be leaving till 10?

I’m off to the Spa.

I love to turn bad news into good. To find the silver lining. It’s a life hack that just makes sense to me. So I’ve made this deal with myself: whenever my flight is more than an hour late, I treat myself to a massage.

I fly mostly between Philadelphia and San Francisco. Both airports have spas that offer both chair and table massages.

It’s first come, first serve. You can’t make a reservation. But most of the time, I’m able to line up a 20-minute chair massage. If I’m lucky, a longer chair massage, or even a table massage, will be available.

And the massage therapists who work at these places are top notch. (One of the best table massages I’ve ever enjoyed was at the Philadelphia Airport.)

There’s something magical about unwinding with a relaxing massage as the airport world bustles around you. As your therapist works on your back or shoulders, you can hear boarding announcements, people chatting, and suitcases rolling by, but you’re enjoying a little cocoon of stillness and pleasure.

No, it’s not cheap. But a good massage is worth every penny. Plus, if you’re just hanging around the terminal? You’d probably end up spending money on junk food or buying stuff you really don’t need from the shops.

Better to spend the money on something that’s good for you. You can relax, enjoy the time thoroughly, then get up feeling like a million bucks and ready to fly.

(And if your flight still isn’t ready? You get to recline in one of the Spa’s massage chairs without charge until it’s time to board. They are way more comfortable than the seats at the gate.)

No doubt about it — the spa is my favorite place at the airport.

Maybe the next time my flight is delayed, I’ll see you there.

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Roz Warren, the author of JUST ANOTHER DAY AT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, has appeared on both the Today Show and Morning Edition, writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times, and has been included in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Drop her a line at

Bala Cynwyd, PA

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