Killing time at airports
Ten hours to kill at an airport with no money? We're here to help.
1. Auction your flight ticket
Wherever you're heading, even if it's some sinkpit city in the back of beyond, hold your ticket aloft and invite top bids to see the sights. So long as you big it up, people will want a piece of it. What's more, once you've secured more than you paid, you can toddle off and buy yourself a replacement ticket, and fritter the rest on chocolate and lifestyle magazines you'd never read at home.
2. Crank airport announcements
Approach the airport tannoy announcer claiming you've lost a friend. Present them with a piece of paper with names such as "Ire Eely Nede-ar She-ite" and ask them to page your lost friend. Roll around in pieces while they say rude things. Just don't get caught.
By Amber Yonkman
3. Blag a spot in the business lounge
Providing you're a star in your own eyes, you'll go far! It's all about attitude, after all. Swagger up to the desk, politely check that they know who you are (don't say who, just lift your shades like your eyes are your trademark, and don't blow it when they usher you in for champagne and canapés. It works for us, but then, pffh, we wear TheSite.org t-shirts when travelling anywhere.
4. Pick up rich people
You need to blend in here, so hang out in Arrivals with the chauffeurs and the hire car reps. All you need is a sheet of paper, and a universal name like 'Smith' written on it, and you could strike lucky. People who arrange to be picked up in this way are usually minted, so even if you just get to carry their luggage to the main entrance, you might get a decent tip.
5. Trolley races around the terminal
Bring F1 trickstery to Terminal 4 with your own race. Watch out for old people and policemen. Otherwise, it's no-holds-barred.
6. Reappraise your rucksack
That thing on your back is a potential source of sleep, amusement, even sport! It's a pillow, something you can stuff up your jumper to make out you're heavily pregnant (good for blagging seats) but ultimately it's your ball for a game of tourist skittles. Line up a cluster, keep the underarm release both steady and true, and bang. Strike out!
7. Read books. In the book shop
No cash for reading material? No problem, especially if your bag is seat-shaped. Find the quietest spot in the airport book shop, grab yourself a copy of Vanity Fair or Harry Potter and sit yourself down for a good read. If a snooty staff member accosts you, just say you're still deciding whether or not you want to buy it. You can also often pick up used newspapers and mags in the empty lounges as flights take off.
The great transit tradition. Find some carpet which isn't too manky and stretch out.
OK, so it's bit nerdy but them planes are pretty cool. See how many airlines are coming and going. Watch those massive chunks of metal gracefully lift themselves off the hot tarmac. Wonder how the hell they don't just fall out of the sky.
10. Dig that architecture, man
If you're lucky enough to be at a particularly attractive airport (we recommend Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah, Vancouver, Dubai and Hong Kong), then take some time to take in the gigantic, beautiful architecture that surrounds you. Free "guides" come in the shape of old porters and cleaners who will know all about the history of the place and will be willing to stop for a chat - especially if it means not working.
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