What To Do If You Plane Is Delayed In The UK - 10 Top Tips

Flight delays are part and parcel of air travel, but that does not mean they have to be frustrating.  A delay can offer you the chance to unwind, relax, and make the most of your time. Whether it is Heathrow, Gatwick, or any UK airport, there are plenty of ways to turn such a delay into an adventure. From exploring the airport to planning another holiday, here are 10 things you can do to make your flight delay in the UK more enjoyable.

1. Stay Informed

woman at airport

Staying updated about your flight status is the first way of dealing with a flight delay. Follow the airport screens, listen to announcements, and use the airline's app to get real-time updates. Knowing what is going on with your flight will help you plan the next step and manage expectations. As well as being informed, try not to get annoyed with the staff. It's not their fault.

2. Compensation

In the event of a long flight delay, a company like AirHelp will assist you in applying for the compensation you are entitled to. Google ‘compensation flight delay’ for the most up-to-date information for your entitlement, apply if you need to and see the money in your bank in no time.

3. Explore The Airport

Most UK airports are busy with many shops, restaurants, and amenities to explore. Take a walk around the terminal and check out the duty-free shops, or treat yourself to a meal at one of the restaurants. Airport food is not as bad as it used to be, and even celebrity chefs have restaurants at airports these days. Check out Gordon Ramsey's Plane Food at Heathrow Airport if you're there with time on your hands.

4. Relax In An Airport Lounge

If you have access to airport lounges through your airline status, credit card, or lounge program, take advantage of the comfortable seating, complimentary food and drinks, and other amenities on offer. If you don't have complementary access some will also allow you to buy time in the lounge to use their amenities. Lounges provide a quiet space from the hustle and bustle of the terminal, enabling you to chill and unwind during your delay. They also offer complimentary alcohol and some showers to refresh yourself.

5. Work Or Study

Use the flight delay as an opportunity to get some work done or respond to emails, or if you are a student, get some study time in. Many UK airports offer free Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected and make the most of your time. Set up your laptop in a quiet corner or find a cosy cafe to get focused on your 'To Do' list.

6. Read A Book Or Listen To Music

Why not buy a book in one of the stores in the airport or download podcasts or playlists to keep yourself occupied. Whether you like fiction, non-fiction, or the latest chart-toppers, getting into a good book or tune is an excellent way to pass the time during a flight delay.

7. Exercise

man airport

Sitting for a long time can take its toll on your body, so why not use the extra time to get some exercise? Many UK airports have the space for you to get some steps in by walking around.  Take a brisk walk around the terminal to stretch your legs and recharge yourself.

8. Make New Connections

Why not chat with other passengers who are on the same flight as you? It is always interesting to find out what others are up to. They can advise you on what to do at your destination. Also, connect your devices so you can make connections when you land. You may not be able to charge your smartphone on the flight, and this is advisable especially if you need access to electronic boarding passes, Google Maps for navigation and hotel confirmations.

9. Plan A Future Trip

Use the time during your flight delay to plan your next adventure. Research and check out destinations, flights, and accommodation to start making plans for your dream trip. Whether you're dreaming of a beach getaway, a city break, or a big road trip, let your imagination run wild and start planning your next trip.

10. Have Some Patience And Be Calm

Last but not least, remember to be patient and positive during your flight delay. As said previously, AirHelp can assist with compensation if the delay is lengthy and most delays are mostly beyond our control, frustration or anger won't change it. Instead, focus on maximising your time, being flexible, and keeping a positive attitude. Before you know it, you will be on your way to your destination with a greater appreciation for the journey.


While no one likes a flight delay, there's no need for it to be a hassle or source of stress. Follow these 10 tips and you can turn your delay into an adventure and make the most of your time in the UK: take advantage of the airport, enjoy yourself in a lounge and relax.  After all, it's about the journey—not the destination—so why not enjoy every single moment?

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