I travel a lot for work and have often had to deal with airline delays. Given that I find humans so fascinating I love watching people in these circumstances. Some people aren’t really too fazed. Others look like they may spontaneously combust at any point in time.
Now before I go any further I also need to fully disclose that despite being a regular flyer, I’m a definitely a very nervous flyer. I know statistically I’m safer in a plane than a car but I’m not flying the plane and I don’t really understand the concept of a big hunk of metal up in the sky actually staying up there……..anyhow, my love for my work and also going different places for leisure is greater than my fear of flying, so I just need to suck up the whole flying thing and get on with it.
So naturally being a nervous flyer I hate delays at the best of times and I really hate them when I’m already on the plane and enjoying the extended delights of standing on the tarmac.
In any event, I’ve found doing these key things helps me to deal with them:
Remember, it could be worse
On one extended tarmac experience thanks to storms doubled with an air traffic control strike, one lovely Qantas captain gave us an update and said something which has always stuck with me – “It’s always better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground”. So true.
Use the time productively
Always take things with you to allow you to make the time productive. I love reading for both business and pleasure and it’s often hard to find as much time as I would like, so flying (or waiting to fly) is a great time to do that. There are also plenty of other things I can work on …. in fact, this blog is coming to you from 37,000 feet! So just be prepared and enjoy the forced focus time.
Book your flights to allow for weather delays
Now I get that with tight schedules this isn’t always possible…. Where possible allow for the fact that winds, storms, fog, extreme heat and snow (depending on the country you are in) are often just par for the course with flying. Get in the night before where you really have an important meeting.
So while it would be great to never be delayed, things just happen which you can’t control, but you can be in control of how you react and how you much you let the delay inconvenience you. High performers are always a step ahead in these situations.
For more information on how to make your travel time more productive, contact us.
If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.