21 Ways to amuse yourself at the airport

Darn Iceland has gone and F$#&* up everyone’s travel plans. How terribly inconsiderate of that volcano. Unless Osama is your roommate and you live in a cave in Dustikizan, you’ve heard the reports of how people are stuck in airports around the globe, unable to travel home due to the ash cloud that is covering a large part of the atmosphere.

The fact is, there ain’t much you can do about it- so you may as well have a good time while you’re waiting for that rather large piece of magma to pass on by. Rumour has it, that it could last up to a year. In which case you’d be better of hopping on a horse and carriage than waiting at the airport. But anyway…

Being stuck at the airport could be a total drag, or it could be only a minor drag if you know how to keep yourself amused. In the event that you have no idea how to entertain yourself, then you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve whiled away hours in the airport by riding the trains from terminal to terminal, searching for the ever elusive power-plug-near-a-chair combo, or one of my favorites: eavesdropping on others’ conversations. From executives divulging company strategies too loudly into their Bluetooth headsets to teachers catching up on the salacious goings-on at a teacher’s conference, I have heard some interesting tidbits at the airport. And thus, I may just consider myself an expert on time-passing airport style.

Keep on reading- believe me- the infinite loop of CNN Airport Edition gets really old really quickly.

So here’s a bumper list of pointless time-wasters for the airport

21 ways to kill time at the airport

1. Try to not think about penguins
(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)

This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about penguins anyway.

2. Stage an Improv-Everywhere-style musical number
(Amusement potential- varies- depending on your creativity, alcohol consumption and airport security)

This can be fun. You can pretend you’re in an episode of Glee by dramatising normally nondescript conversations and turning them into something Lord Andrew Lord Webber would be proud of.

3. Create a Poll
(Amusement potential- 45 minutes)

Create a poll and walk around the airport asking people for their votes.

Try something like “Do you pee in the shower? Yes or No”, “Do you think Father Christmas is a pedophile? Yes or No” or “How long can you remember something??- I minute, 1 hour, I week, 1 month, forever?”.

Tip: carry a clipboard to look official and remind people that they could be entered into the draw to win the grand prize of absolutely nothing.

4. Find a job
(Amusement potential: infinite )

Use your time at the airport to further your career.

Tip:Try wearing a sign around your neck saying “Will work for Microsoft” and see what happens.

5. Practice your photography skills
(Amusement potential: 1 hour)

Whip out your camera and channel your inner Annie Liebowitz. Be creative and blog about your experience. You can even upload your photos- there are loads of cool sites that specialise in airport photography

If you’re not in the mood to pretend you’re an ageing lesbian, skip this step and move on.

6. Use your secret mind power
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)

Pick a passer by and try to use your mind power to command them do something, like drop their bag, trip or knock into someone. The law of averages dictates that sooner or later one of your mind commands will come true, so you can convince yourself that you really have super human powers and waste even more time trying them out.

7. Rate passers by
(Amusement Potential: 10-15 minutes)

Secretly award passers by marks out of ten as you go along, offering (unsaid) expert criticism over their clothing, hairstyle and footwear choices.

8.Superglue a R5 coin to the floor and see who tries to pick it up
(Amusement potential- infinite)

Never underestimate the fools in the world.

9. Sleep
(Amusement potential: 1-2 hours)

By this time you’re getting tired and should take a nap. Channel your inner homeless person and catch a few zzzz’s. Just watch out that your stuff doesn’t get stolen.

Tips: Act Innocent: Even if you sleep in airports on regular basis — Do Not Act Like A Professional! Act like you REALLY do not want to be there and that there is absolutely nowhere else to go. I find crying helps.

Remember, in the airport officials’ eyes “the airport is not a hotel”. Oh and an inflatable raft on the airport floor is super comfy.

21 Ways to amuse yourself at the airport

(Amusement potential- 15-30 minutes)

Beatboxing is fun. Make yourself an imaginary music video by simultaneously beatboxing and running backwards and dancing on those human conveyer belt thingys.

11. Repeat the same word over and over until it loses its meaning
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)

Pick a random word out of a magazine and say it aloud to yourself until it becomes a meaningless set of noises.

Macaroni always works for me. Or your own name. Try it!

21 Ways to amuse yourself at the airport

12. Mess with people
(Amusement potential-10 minutes)

Sometimes people are lonely and bored and so they think it’s a good idea to start chatting with fellow travelers. When approached by the unscrupulous individuals, suddenly speak a new language. Learn Klingon if a real language doesn’t interest you.

Although you understand you are being asked for stimulating conversation, be bubbly and happy, but confused by your tormentor’s efforts. Thank him/her, bow out of respect, shake his hand and smile. Be incredibly dense and show no fear, unless the individual has a gun or other weapon pointed at you.

The object is to drag it out as long as you can until he hopefully gives up.

13. Propose
(Amusement potential:infinite)

If you’re travelling with a friend (whether they are of the opposite sex or not), get on one knee in the terminal and ask him/her to marry you. You may get tons of freebies out of it. Or at the very least a cuppa joe from the nearest restaurant.

14. Scare people
(Amusement potential- 15 minutes or less- depening on whether or not you get picked up by airport security)

This is fun, although also morally deplorable. Hide behind doors and jump out and scream when people walk by. I find this works best when I wear my Frankenstein mask.

15. Set an alarm clock
(Amusement potential – 1 hour)

Sit calmly in a chair and read your book. Set your alarm to go off at 10 minute intervals, and get up and break-dance every time it goes off.

16. Make Star Trek door noises
(Amusement Potential: 1-2 minutes)

Stand by an electric door and make that silly “Scccccccchwop” sound heard whenever people popped on to the bridge to hang with Captain Kirk.

17. Invent a weird twitch
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)

Adopt a bizarre twitch (e.g. flicking your head irregularly, twitching with eye or busting out sporadic cough noises) and try it out when you go shopping in the airport, or when you’re just calmly standing in a queue.

18. Try and sound Welsh
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)

The key to sounding Welsh is to make sure that your voice goes up at the end of the sentence, so that everything sounds like a question. Throw in a superfluous ‘isn’t it?’ at the end of everything you say and you’re halfway there. Isn’t it?

19. Have a water gargling contest
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)

Put a glassful of water in your mouth and see how long you can keep gargling for. Award yourself extra points for loud and amusing gargling noises, and minus points if you laugh and spew all over someone.

20. Scratch and sniff
(Amusement potential: 30 minutes)

Reading your book, randomly select pages to scratch and sniff wildly.

21. Channel David Attenborough
(Amusement potential: 30 minutes)

Randomly say something like “I mean, it is an extraordinary thing that a large proportion of your country and my country, of the citizens, never see a wild creature from dawn ‘til dusk, unless it’s a pigeon, which isn’t really wild, which might come and settle near them”.

Or commentate on the people around you as thought they are a rare species.


Laters Springleapers!

Follow @theashcloud on Twitter to monitor it’s developments!

PS: send us your travel adventure- you know how we luuuurve hearing from you!

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