How to Keep a Calm Head in an Airport

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Yesterday British Airways cancelled 127 flights and over 200 were delayed all down to IT issues.

For passengers this can be a disaster whether you are going on holiday, or, are a corporate traveller trying to get to a meeting. Stress levels are likely to rise, along with an increase in feelings of frustration or anger.

So, how can you avoid a decrease in your mood and an increase in your blood pressure?

The key thing (and probably the most frustrating) is accepting that the immediate situation is completely out of your control. Directing your anger at a member of BA staff may relieve your immediate emotions, but it will be short-lived. Take proactive decisions instead.

Firstly assess the situation. Are you able to use a different airline to get to your destination? 

I did this a couple of years ago in order to make a connecting flight (ironically the cancelled flight was with BA). I ended up flying with Vueling to make my second flight with BA. I contacted their customer service and got reimbursed for the Vueling flight and also the hotel I had to get.

If this isn’t an option and you just have to wait, try and find a quiet corner of an airport. I recognise this may sound laughable in such a situation, but you would be surprised at how easy it is to find a small space in which you can sit (most people tend to congregate in the same area). As long as you can hear announcement or see the departure screen, you can plug in your earphones and lose yourself in a podcast or music, or if necessary, catch up on work. Once you are focused it’s fairly easy to ignore the commotion and stress that is going on around you.

If this isn’t working, practice some deep breathing. Something as simple as in for 2 counts through the nose and out for 4 counts through your mouth is sufficient, just ensure you are breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest. Continue until you feel calmer.

Travelling for whatever reason can be stressful without the addition of cancelled flights, but having some tools to support you will make it that little more bearable.

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