Determined not to be sour at the 10+ hour delay, I sailed through the long day thinking about WTJ's Travel Happy. Travel Well. tagline. Below are some tips and strategies that made the delay quite ok.
1) FOOD: Packed healthy snacks. Check.
2) FLIGHT STATUS: The moment my flight landed, I checked email and saw my next flight was cancelled. This allowed me to act quickly and ask a flight attendant on the way out, where the customer service counter was. Luckily, it was right across from the arrival gate and I was first in line. Bonus! My customer service rep couldn't have been nicer and so was I. Looking back as she typed in options, the line behind me was h---u--g--e. Lesson: Check your phone for connecting flight info and flight status ASAP and regularly.
3) BE NICE to the person that is helping you and those around you. Should go unsaid...but just saying!
4) BE FLEXIBLE: Commuter flights were cancelled and Phili had limited connections. In order to fly North, I had to first fly South to catch a bigger plane. It added a 3rd connection but it also saved me from spending a night in a hotel or worse, in the airport.
4) WATCH FOR EMPTY SEATS: Across from me were 3 empty seats. Waiting for final boarding cues, I simply asked the flight attendant if I could move and viola - instant extra space. Hurray.
5) BE PATIENT: Landing in Charlotte, I didn't make the next connection. I now had 5+ hours to wait What to do? I was on the look out for "wellness" experiences - sat in a rocking chair and watched the world go by, peeked into Comfort Suites (where there are private napping quarters), walking by the shopping options and decided to take advantage of Southern comfort food - cooked greens, cornbread and brisket. Very comforting. Good choice.
6) BE AWARE: Gate changed happen all the time; don't make the mistake of hanging out, zoning out and being in the wrong spot at the right time.
7) SHARE: My last gate stop, there was one outlet, situated in a tight corner. Three of us shared one outlet. It made the pre-boarding more enjoyable.
8 ) BE PREPARED: Landing in Albany airport, I was a bit shocked to learn, there was no gate bridge. We would be walking off narrow staircase, into the snowy, blowy, cold where we would have to wait for our carry on luggage that had to be valet checked due to the small bin space.
9) BE GRATEFUL: A little late, a little weary, but well-fed, warm, and happy to have arrived.