5 Things To Do At The Airport When Workers Go On Strike

If you fly quite often, you might have had an encounter with workers of an airline or airport that had gone on strike. The latest planned-strike is going to happen this Thanksgiving at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. 

Workers who go on strikes are often due to different reasons such as demanding for a better working environment, more money, shorter hours and/or stopping a salary cut – the list goes on. Many times, these strikes are planned ahead and travellers like me try to avoid travelling in or out of that airport if possible. 

However, we may not always be able to avoid these planned-strikes because usually air tickets are bought way in advance and strikes are usually arranged and announced so as to catch the employers off-guard. Right? 

Nevertheless, what if you were caught in the middle of an airport strike? Imagine the snaking queues at the immigration control. The crowd at the fast-food restaurant suddenly turned very popular. People camping on every corner of the airport while waiting for their check-in counter to re-open are driving you mad. Frustrating isn’t it?

If you are unable to beat the strike, why not make the best use of your time while waiting for your flight out of the airport. Unless you are flying out of the best airport in the world – Singapore Changi Airport – with no known history of anyone going on strike, here are some tips that will keep you sane (hopefully). Even if Changi decides to go on a strike one day, there are so many things to do and explore in this airport that some people said that you can spend an eternity there. Just saying.


1. Pay for a lounge

Almost all the major airports in the world have lounges. They are mostly catered to frequent flyer members and here is where you can get away from the mad crowd where there are food, snacks, alcohol, sleep/work/shower facilities etc. If you do not belong to any elite frequent flyer program, then most likely you will have no chance of entering the lounge unless you are invited. But, there are some lounges where you get to pay to enter – that is you must be a Priority Pass member and you can sign this up online.

At the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, you have two to choose from:

The AirFrance/KLM lounge at Terminal 5 – Gate M7

Swissport Lounge Terminal 5 – Gate M7

PS: If paying for a lounge is not your cup of tea, the next four tips are totally FREE!

2. Read a Book/Magazine

There are plenty of reading materials in the lounge but if entering a lounge is not your cup of tea, then going to newsstand and literally stand there to read some magazines or books. I have seen some people daringly enough to make themselves comfortable in the corner of the newsstand burying themselves in the books. 

3. Find a massage chair

Most airports have a pay-for-use massage chairs and they are decently comfortable. If you have a book with you, find a massage chair and get comfortable on it. 

4. Go to duty-free

Testers are free and yes, try them all! Put on something nice and test every single cologne or perfume that catches your smell. Like wine, every perfume has its own distinct notes and who knows one day you will be able to impress your partner by recognising his/her perfume with just a sniff. If perfume is not your thing, go play with the latest iPhones/iPads/iMacs or test out the different headphones on display to find out the best music for your ears.

5. Exercise
Nope, you do not need a gym. The simplest form of exercise is, yes, you are right – stroll. Grab a map of the airport and start exploring areas you have never been before less those ‘STAFF ONLY’ areas. You should try not to get yourself into trouble especially if it is not your country’s airport because you never know what kind of laws they have in that land.

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