11 Cheap Ways to Make Time Fly at the Airport

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MAKE THE MOST OF A DELAY

As summer begins and airport waits grow longer, travelers will have ample time to contemplate their navels before taking flight. There are only so many magazines to read, so try these cheap and free ways to make the time fly when you're grounded.
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TRACK WAIT TIMES

Instead of guessing and stressing about when a flight will finally lift off, download the free, crowdsourced app MiFlight to stay in the loop on airport wait times. Users say it really does make traveling easier.
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SURF THE NET

Most airports have free Wi-Fi for travelers, which is a good distraction while waiting to board. Check Foursquare for a list of free Wi-Fi spots and how to access them.
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LIVE LARGE IN THE LOUNGE

Don't spend big money to enjoy the perks of an airport lounge. The Club airport lounges offer reasonably priced access at a number of airports across the country. The $35 fee may be worth it for free food and drinks, Wi-Fi, workstations, and TVs.
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EAT AT A TRENDY RESTAURANT

Getting stuck in the airport can be a good opportunity to enjoy a meal at the airport offshoot of a popular restaurant that may have long lines at its primary location. The Kogi food truck attracts crowds wherever it shows up in Los Angeles, but travelers can find its brand of Korean fusion fast food at the Los Angeles International Airport -- where Kogi has a real truck parked inside Terminal 4.
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TAKE A SHOWER

Scour off a day of traveling at San Francisco International Airport by visiting Freshen Up, which offers bathing, toiletries, and even clean underwear. The $11 price tag for a shower is likely to seem fairly reasonable for that feeling of renewal after a lengthy day of travel and delays.
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ENJOY ART

Many airports put great art on display for free. The award-winning T5 Gallery at London's Heathrow Airport features work from up-and-coming as well as established artists. Denver International Airport's Terminal Gallery is one of the most respected public art galleries in the country, and even offers tours to visitors who aren't ticketed to fly.

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PLAY WITH ELECTRONICS

Stop by the Tech Showcase at Miami International or Raleigh-Durham International Airport to play the day (or delay) away. The stores are basically "please touch" locations where travelers can explore the latest in mobile electronics. While everything is for sale, the staff is trained to offer flyers a relaxed and friendly experience.
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PRETEND A TROPICAL VACATION ISN'T OVER

Miami International Airport travelers can stop at Casa Bacardi, where some travelers find the drinks equal to those of the finest beach resorts. A tropical concoction (virgin or alcoholic) is relatively cheap way to feel like the vacation is still going, but remember that most airlines won't let passengers board if they've had one too many.
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GET SOME SHUT-EYE

Thrillist has a list of the best airports to sleep in overnight, which can save money when the airline doesn't pay for a hotel after a missed connection (and many don't when the cause of a delay is bad weather). Airports are rated based on comfy seating, quiet nooks, and whether they offer cots for travelers stuck overnight.
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TAKE A HIKE

Airport Gyms lists more than 200 exercise facilities at airports across the country, but some offer completely free ways for travelers to get fit instead of sit. For instance, Minnesota-St. Paul International Airport teamed up with the American Heart Association to create a marked, 1.4-mile loop for strolling or speed walking.
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PRACTICE DOWNWARD DOG

San Francisco International Airport offers stressed-out travelers free yoga rooms away from the hustle and bustle of the terminals. Simply show up and start doing sun salutations -- mats and props are provided.
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