Yes, you read correctly. How to survive a night in the airport. After having a great weekend in Cincinnati for the Flying Pig, I got to have a sleepover in the Dulles airport with 4 of
my closest friendsrandom people that I never actually talked to.
The dealy was that a big storm came through Ohio and they added an extra half hour onto our flight route. This wouldn’t have screwed things up too badly, I still would have been able to sprint to the gate. What did mess everything up was that our plane stopped at Terminal D, my flight left out of A…womp, womp. I was a whole three minutes late, but those three minutes really mattered.
Do – have your airline’s customer service number. Look it up and call them. Instead of standing in the loooong line at customer service, I was just able to go to the customer service kiosk and print off my new boarding pass. Super easy and less stressful.
I also have to say that United was very helpful and nice. I think it helps to be nice to them as well. It wasn’t United’s fault that the weather sucked, so I was calm and patient and didn’t yell. Soo…
Don’t – Yell at the gate agents/others who might be able to help you. Yelling doesn’t help any…at all. If anything it will make the customer service person want to help you less! Also they will remember that you were a super cranky b**** from the day before. You know what they say about karma…
Okay, now that you have a way that you are getting home your next task should be where to sleep. Yes, it sucks that you are stuck in the airport, but try to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
D0 – scope out the gate area from where your flight leaves. Make sure it is still leaving from that gate and not moved somewhere else.
Do – be aware of your surroundings. Look for crazies, people with loud children who aren’t going to be sleeping much. Are the gate agents around? Does security come down by the gate and check things out. I found that the cleaning people were everywhere. I didn’t see much security, but man was my gate clean.
Do – carry a tooth brush, tooth paste, face wash, and contact solution in your carry on . I realize this requires some forethought, but I would have been a much crankier person if I had been able to wash my face and brush my teeth.
Do – take a tour around the terminal. When I went for my journey around the terminal I was able to see gates that had lights off, were away from noise and other things like that .
Do – look for chairs without armrests. This was hard to do in Dulles. Every chair had armrests. You don’t want to sleep sitting up or, heaven forbid, on the floor.
Do – look for a chapel, not to pray, to sleep. The chapel was the only place in my terminal that had chairs with no armrests. It also had a door that closed, was warm, and didn’t play the annoying security update message over and over again. When I got to the chapel I was the only one there, but by the time I woke up there were five of us in there. Which leads me to my next point….
Do – keep your valuables close. Just because you feel safer in your designated spot doesn’t mean people won’t be shady.
Don’t – talk loudly on your phone, turn your iPod all the way up or make unnecessary noise. I swear that one of the people in the chapel made a pillow out of ten grocery bags. He then also decided that everyone needed to be up at 5:00 when his lady friend called. Rude.
Don’t – expect you are going to get a lot of sleep and be all comfortable like. You’re not and you won’t be.
Do – try and be calm, maybe have a little fun. Like these people!