I did not got to to the airport expecting to spend more than 10 hours there, but the unpredictability of travel happened to me in the Boise airport. This was a quick one day trip, with meetings all day then a flight out the next morning. When I arrived at 10 am for my 12:15 p.m. flight, I went to the gate to settle in and read until takeoff. We boarded at 11:45 a.m. and once the boarding door closed we were off, or so we thought. The plane had mechanical issues that required a change of equipment. One hour later we boarded a new plane which subsequently had mechanical issues as well, which left the 40+ passengers waiting for the next available flight. Considering the priorities of passengers with connecting flights and those that paid higher fare classes, I was told to relax and wait for an additional 7 hours. I did watch other passengers decide to take the obnoxious route and give the gate agents a hard time, but when it all said and done, yelling at airline staff for ensuring the safety of us travelers, is a bit short-sighted.
For the next seven hours I had an opportunity to think about all the items I should have routinely had with me that would have made the wait a bit easier. First off, a spare battery for charging. Although I was in an airport, there were more passengers needing a charge than available outlets so it was a bit inconvenient once my battery got low. Then I wished for the many books I have promised myself I would finish this year. One should have been in my bag first, but it was an oversight. As a seasoned traveler, it made me think about people that have not prepared for a flight delay or cancellation. The next item was a reusable beverage container. Many airports offer filtered water refill stations near the gate area lavatories, and having one can save money and avoid having to purchase a $5 bottle of water.
Travel has to be approached with a sense of adventure, and patience. When you arrive at the airport you have to surrender your need to be in control of everything. You are not flying the plane, you don’t have a say in who sits near you, and just because you are ready to go, doesn’t mean your carrier is, so waiting has to be an expected activity. So as you prepare for your next trip, think about all that you might need, just in case you have to be in transit far longer than you expected.