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How to Survive Being Stranded

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Each year, hundreds of people are stranded at the airport--either you've missed a flight, or some act of nature has prevented you from catching the plane. Since I was born, I've been flying standby on a variety of major airlines. My dad works for a major company, and there are ways to make your experience more comfortable while saving some money...Also, some of the tips are good for regular travel, or last-minute travel, as well.

Here's a few tips to cope.

 
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Step 1: Relax

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If plans have unexpectedly changed, you might be a little (or a lot) stressed out. Totally acceptable. However, in order to deal with other people and make good choices, being calm and assertive (and nice!) really helps. If this means getting a beer or ice cream or taking a little nap, go ahead. In most cases, you have time. If not, go straight to step #2...

Step 2: Take Inventory

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If you have sufficiently calmed down, or haven't the time to do so, figure out how much and what you have on-hand at the moment. This comes into play for all the actions you take from here on out...

First, do an assessment of what you have with you (in order of importance--what you need right now and so forth) It might be something like:

1. Money/Credit Cards
2. Medication
3. Tickets *or passes
4. Passport
5. Contact Lenses *(wearing)
6. Carry-On Bag (Laptop)
7. Purse--comb, lipstick, kleenex, etc.
8. Books

In this example, it becomes clear that the traveler can only really be comfortable for a short while without making other arrangements. She has no change of clothing with her (let's say they're at her destination, or lost) and has to figure out step #2...

5-10 mins.
admin5 years ago
This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!
openidordie2 years ago
Was recently stranded, myself, and found some of the things I had with me very helpful. Allow me to contribute:

- a retracting cable lock is useful to lock your luggage to whatever bank of chairs is nearby in the event of an overnight in the airport. You can go to sleep and your luggage will still be there. It is small (the size of a Blackberry phone) so if you don't end up needing it, then you haven't lost anything space-wise.

- safety pins are your friend. You can make a sleep eye mask from a knee-length sock and a safety pin. You can use safety pins as clothes pins.

- an inflatable neck pillow helps when you have to sleep in the airport. Aside from using it to cushion your head as you slouch down in a pre-molded chair, you can also lay it on a flat surface with the puffy part that goes behind your neck to you, and use it as a (small) regular pillow. Also, there is usually a bit of extra vinyl in the front of both of the parts that go over your shoulders and you can use a safety pin on those without popping the pillow in order to turn it into a makeshift c-collar, which is the most comfortable way to use these pillows if sitting.

- don't forget that most non-motel hotels will lend you a robe if you do need to wash everything you are wearing in your bathroom sink.

- if you roll up your clothes in a towel and twist the dickens out of the towel, your clothes will have a much better shot at drying overnight than otherwise.
mroseman44 years ago
sarge694 years ago
Before you leave pack things like blankets(if it will be cold) and foods that are allowed on the planes, and ipods/ other entertainment.
pimpin M 5 years ago
Also some airlines have the little turn in cart for change, every cart u turn in you get 25cents... haha nice instructable
Colonel885 years ago
Visit the stranded store on that island you crashed upon.:)
littlebluesue (author) 5 years ago
Thanks! I appreciate it! ***Was recently traveling home and have a few more tips: -->Don't fall asleep when you're taking that little nap. Set your cell phone alarms for times like bording and when you need to be awake. -->Noticed in LAX there is now a "stranded traveler resource center"--lol--despite not being stranded, I totally used it to get a cheaper fare home. -->Supershuttles and other shared taxis are awesome. You can save a ton of money this way, and they aren't JUST for going to the airport. They will take you anywhere (from the airport). There is a wait for this (sometimes a while) but you will save up to 70% of regular taxi fare. -->Dress up when you travel (enough to get into first class). I was not offered a seat in first class (*it was a full flight, and they needed to bump a few people up!) because I was wearing sandals. : / This might only apply to standby passengers, though. -->Stressing it again: be nice. I saw someone (belligerent) not allowed onto the plane. Why? Cause he refused to wait his turn to get onto the plane, and started making threats against the staff. No refund. -->If you are stranded and you will be there at the fault of the airline (or weather) you can get your bags from ticketing if they are not already at your destination (it all depends if the plane YOU were on is still at the airport). By the baggage claim area, there are offices for each airline. Go there. It will take a long time (sometimes hours) so be patient and calm. The airline will often deliver the bags to you in a timely manner. Hope everyone enjoys and safe & happy travels!
shooby5 years ago
This is good, good idea for an instructable and well thought out.
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