Whoever said that the journey is more important than the destination probably never experienced a long airport layover. And certainly was never stuck in the airport due to natural or not-so-natural disaster.

Layover is not your preference; it’s your best pick out of bad options. You would rather not fly from Georgia to Florida via Hawaii, but you would do it rather then fly via Australia. You chose the best of the worst and prepare yourself to a painfully boring delay in already grueling travel experience. You set your mind on a challenge and try to wake up your inner survivor. You can do it! But what if you are an unsuspected traveler, punched in your gut by a ‘surprise!’ flight cancellation or delay until ‘further notice’? Can you do it? That is a real test for your endurance, a tribulation that can break you or make you stronger. Life is boring without obstacles. Make your hurdles count. Make airport-dwelling time a productive part of your business trip or an extension of your vacation. If not truly exciting, make it at least more bearable.

Try to consider layovers and delays a travel bonus. Relax, explore, get new experience, meet new people and see new things. Let it be time for leisure and not frustration.
When we mention ‘fun’, the first thing that comes to mind is food. There is a lot of belly-pleasing fun in the airports. And not only bad and overpriced fast-food stands, but also good and overpriced gourmet restaurants.

If you are not as hungry as thirsty, you can land in airport bars until your waiting time (and yourself) is wasted and the layover becomes hangover.
Want some beyond-the-belly activity? Get yourself pampered, you may never have time for this under normal circumstances. You can find a gym, a beauty parlor, a spa, even a tanning salon in some airports these days.

Want to waste your time wisely? Join the VIP club and enhance your business in "office away from the office" lounge (in Los-Angeles LAX your dedication to work will be also motivated by free drinks).
Love shopping? You better fly everywhere through Dubai, Munich or Paris's de Gaulle. May be a little off your route, but the duty-free there is to die for.
Want some real fun and enriching entertainment? Again, choose your layover location wisely, so you’ll be able to:

- Visit a rotating exhibits museum in San Francisco SFO,
- Run with Disney characters around Orlando MCO,
- Enjoy live piano music in Portland PDX,
- Keep your kids busy in the ‘Kids on the fly’ museum and stroll around Brachiosaurus Dinosaur in Chicago O’Hare.
- Visit Changi Airport in Singapore. Just go there and you’ll wish your layover never ended. Business centers, medical facilities, entertainment lounges, napping pods, gym, spa, swimming pool (free), movie theater (free), bus city tours (free), outdoor gardens (definitely free).
- Gamble in Las Vegas McCarran. The neon-lighted Strip is just a mile away, but it is no need to leave the airport for the ultimate Vegas experience. Sin City style shopping, eating, drinking, spa-ing – all inside McCarran. And, yes, 24-hours gambling. Stuff yourself with quarters, drop your anchor near the slot machines and the time will fly. It will be sort of ‘mini-vacay during delay’.
Modern airports offer comfort and entertainment; however it usually comes with a fee that may not be included in your travel budget. Then you can enjoy a one of a kind free activity: people watching. Airport visitors make a unique population group: people-in-transition. They are between ‘where-they-are-coming-from’ and ‘where-they-are-going-to’. An extremely diverse group squeezed into a Noah’s ark – all in the same boat. All have to kick off their shoes and reveal their (possibly hole-filled) socks along with the entire inside of the body at security point. Transiting people move faster and think harder. They try to remember what they forgot (to pack, to say, to turn off…). They constantly check the time and count their luggage and kids. You can stare at them or start a conversation. You can possibly make life-long friends or meet your big love.

You can actually live in an airport. Some people did. Remember Spielberg’s “Terminal”? If this movie was playing in every airport during a major delay, the stranded passengers would not consider their own situation so terminal.

But do you know that while this movie was making box office, the real-life prototype of Tom Hank’s character was still living in an airport? Iranian refugee Merhan Karimi Nasseri arrived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport in 1988 without a passport and permission to enter another country. He lived in the departure lounge until 2006.
There are more stories of airport housing.

Sanjai Shah, Kenyan-born British resident has spent six months in Kenya's international airport after being refused entry to the UK.
In 2010 a Chinese activist Feng Zhenghu has spent more than three months living inside Tokyo's international Airport. He was protesting China's refusal to let him enter his homeland.
For homeless people airport makes a great unconventional residence. A real-estate agent would describe it as “a spacious 2-(3-,4-)storey building with multiple bathrooms, central heat, city water, plenty of parking space, walking distance to shops and restaurants”.

German woman known as Bettina is living in Palma de Mallorca airport for 10 years, thanks to Spanish authorities allowing people live in the terminal, as long as they don't bother passengers. Other airport dwellers aren't so lucky and being banned from their landing field.

Leaving in an airport is feasible (while feels more like a dark modern tale).

Surviving long delays is mandatory (You can do it!).

Layovers can be turned into fun adventure (but I still prefer direct flights).