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With long lines at the security checkpoints, you need to be at the airport 1 1/2 to 2 hours before your flight. Then, you have a connecting flight - with a 5 hour layover! What do you do when you're trapped in an airport for hours on end?
Many airports are looking beyond bookstores and coffee shops to find ways of keeping passengers occupied.
Airports all over the world are adding amenities to make visitors more comfortable while waiting for a flight. Most are available at larger airports at this time; but keep an eye out for variations to appear in regional airports, as well.
- JFK, and other large airports have spa services available - get a massage or a manicure while you wait!
There are spas in Boston, Denver, Cancun - some airports have more than one! Visit Spa Index at spaindex.com to find a list of airports with spa facilities.
(They do NOT let you know when your flight is about to board, however, so make sure you have adequate time for any of these activities)
- Some airports, such as Hong Kong's, have showers available - a nice treat if you have a layover on a 20 hour flight!
Amsterdam, Sydney, London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Munich and Singapore are others that have shower facilities.
- Amsterdam is also one of many airports with sleeping modules, like one-person "pods", to let you rest during a layover.
Look for these in Honolulu and Singapore as well. (You can also check out sleepinginairports.com for reviews of airport comfort and safety if you need to spend the night).
- Casinos are available in Cologne and Copenhagen.
- Vancouver has a number of amenities, including medical services and a pharmacy. London's Heathrow also has medical facilities.
- Most airports have internet and wifi access, but look for those that offer wifi for free.
Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale are two that have free wifi.
- If you have a very long layover (at least 4 hours), consider going into the city and having a look around.
Atlanta and Chicago are two airports with mass transit to the city, and you can check out a museum or go shopping for an hour or so.
Check with your airline, however, if you have luggage checked through to your next flight. Leaving your luggage may be a security issue.
Air travel isn't easy any more, but it can be made more pleasurable with a little planning.