TPG readers’ favorite airports to spend a long delay in

Feb 23, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We recently asked our TPG Lounge audience to share which airport they’d prefer to be stuck in if they had a long flight delay, how they’d pass the time, where they’d eat (in a lounge or restaurant) and where they’d spend the night. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity). 

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The best airport food, lounges and other perks

From memorable restaurants and luxurious lounges to favorite onsite hotels and proximity to fun places worth exploring, our well-traveled TPG Lounge members had a lot to say about the airports they wouldn’t mind being stuck in during a long flight delay.

Key West (EYW). I’d leave the airport and eat and drink my way down Duvall St., spend the night at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, and hope my flight gets delayed again!” — Mialisa G.

Tampa (TPA). Eat at at Columbia Restaurant, stay at the Marriott in the terminal and enjoy the sunshine from one of the new decks. Great shops and terrific restaurants.” — Cathy A.

Atlanta (ATL). Eat at One Flew South or Chicken + Beer, stop by the Delta Sky Clubs and stay at the Kimpton.” — Clint F.

“Once the Centurion Lounge opens, I think Charlotte (CLT) will be great. It has a Shake Shack, Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles, two Minute Suites locations and multiple Admirals Clubs, giving you plenty of opportunities to eat and unwind.” — Chris B.

Related: The best credit cards for airport lounge access

Have you been to the Minute Suites in CLT yet? (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)
Have you been to the Minute Suites in CLT yet? (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.)

Honolulu (HNL). If it’s a really long delay, leave the airport as there aren’t any lounges worth spending much time in. Head to the Waikiki Beach area and eat and drink at any of the fantastic restaurants looking out on the Pacific. If it’s overnight, get a room with points anywhere close to the airport, even if it’s only for six or seven hours.” — Sally A.

San Francisco (SFO). I would watch the planes, go to Boudin Bakery and head over to the In-N-Out Burger in Millbrae right nearby. There are several hotels nearby as well, but I’d probably spend the night at my aunt’s house an hour away by bus.” — Bryan A.

Austin (AUS). Most of the food vendors and bars are iconic local spots in the city and there are lots of choices. There’s an open, airy and clean terminal, with live and local music playing from the home of SXSW and ACL.” — Robert W.

Philadelphia (PHL). There’s an American Express Centurion Lounge, decent stores between B & C and a good food court with Geno’s Cheesesteaks. I’d sleep for free at the Minute Suites.” — John L.

Related: The ultimate guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

The Centurion Lounge in at PHL. (Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The Centurion Lounge in at PHL. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.)

Denver (DEN). Awesome local food and beer options in the airport and lots of hidden places to sit where it’s (relatively) quiet. It also has a Westin hotel attached.” — Molly M.

Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). The Escape Lounge there is my favorite. Long corridors are great for walking around and exploring and the central ‘airport mall’ area has nice big couches. The Mall of America is 10 minutes away via light rail.” — Andrew D.

“I would take one that has all the terminals interconnected, like IAH. [There would be] a lot of time to spend exploring, and some lounges and Priority Pass restaurants.” — Frederic L.

“JFK. The TWA Hotel in front of the JetBlue terminal is a must. Step back in time when you set foot in this place and have a drink or snack at the Connie Bar, a 1962 Lockheed Constellation Aircraftqparked outside the large glass window of the main lobby, turned into a beautiful lounge. Better yet, go to the rooftop pool and bar. Let me tell you, there is nothing cooler than sitting in the warm pool, sipping a martini with a birds’ eye view of the runway and plane spotting.” — Glen M.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Priority Pass program

Can you think of a better way to spend a layover? (Photo by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy)
Can you think of a better way to spend a layover? (Photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy.)

Dallas (DFW) is my favorite layover airport. Lots of great non-lounge food, a few lounges to choose from and it’s pretty easy to get offsite and explore if you wish.” — Cameron L.

Portland (PDX). Great food, great shopping and a free movie theater.” — David K.

“The Polaris Lounges in Chicago (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO) are fantastic, although SFO has nap rooms, which are heavenly after a flight from Sydney (SYD).” — Jessica A.

DFW. I’d stay at my favorite Hyatt at Terminal D, shop at the MAC makeup store and go to Dylan’s Candy Bar. I’ve even scheduled an overnight layover on a return from London just to stay at that Hyatt. They have the best staff there.” — Carry B.

Related: Sleep with the planes: 10 best airport hotels in the U.S. and Canada

A quick shoutout to airports abroad

Some TPG Lounge readers couldn’t help mentioning the airports they love around the world, whether it was because of an epic layover in Doha, purposeful exploration near Zurich, a favorite food cart in Frankfurt or the desire to live in Singapore’s fabulous Changi airport.

“I’d pick some exotic locale, preferably one I haven’t been to yet so exploring would be new and exciting. I would pick my experience in Doha as one of the most interesting ways to connect flights with a brief stop. Best kababs ever, fascinating people watching and a pretty hotel affiliated with Qatar Airways. It easy to do since they handle everything for you if you’re flying in first or business class.” — Betsy P.

“I often search by duration and pick the longest so that I can explore. I just did it in Zurich, where I had a 15-hour layover. Took the train to Bern and stayed the night.” — Mark S.

“Ooh this is easy … I’d rather be stuck in Frankfurt airport, and I’d sit by the wiener schnitzel cart for five hours, or until my flight leaves… whichever comes first!” — Kimberlee F.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure I could live at Changi (SIN) if I could get away with it.” — Paul L.

Featured photo of the Polaris Lounge at SFO by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.