The worst thing in the world for a Type “A” personality is to have nothing to do. Sometimes (rarely) a type “A” person can literally work themselves into a situation where they have nothing left to do. It happened to me once. I went over every list I had running — personal, work-related, nagging things I put off until later; I even called my mother. I was “empty.” What was worse, I was stuck in a lame airport in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada with nothing more than a small cafe of weird people to watch. I had even browsed through the romance novels in the “Welcome to Canada” book store. Yish.
Some airports have stuff to keep you entertained and some of it is good enough to actually plan ahead to enjoy!
Take the Detroit airport for example: There’s a spa in the McNamara terminal that offers facials, massages, and even shower facilities if you want to clean up. I’m not a big “spa guy,” but a serious therapeutic massage beats trying to get comfortable in those ridiculous chairs while you try to connect to the internet or read your book.
The Minneapolis airport has a legitimate, marked up walking trail that’s easily a half mile around if you need some exercise.
The Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta employs a pianist to serenade your irritability (it’s mostly Chopin, but it sure is nice to read a book to). The airport in Memphis has several restaurants that feature live blues bands, and there’s even a harpist in Minneapolis.
I’m not sure if the good tax-payers in Fort Lauderdale are aware of it, but the Hollywood International airport there has spent several million dollars on a world-class art collection if you’d like to sharpen your culture quotient.
Baltimore’s Washington International has a hidden wine bar that serves amazing wines during delays. Ask a local employee where it is.
San Francisco’s international airport has a beautiful flight museum with very quiet places to sit and read, along with many formerly airport artifacts.
My favorite hidden airport gem of all time is in Dallas/Fort Worth. DFW actually has its own 36-hole golf course right there on airport property! If you make some time, you could play a round while the sorry sots inside sit on the floor and contemplate their navels…
** If you have questions regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes airports, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in a regular pod-cast. Look for the pod-cast to be linked to Ken’s blog pages soon, or use your iTunes account to search for it on AllBusiness.com!