Things You Should Never Do During Your Layover in New York

Things You Should Never Do During Your Layover in New York
Photo by Courtney Cook on

New York City is ideal for sightseeing during your medium or long layover. There are countless restaurants and beautiful attractions to visit in any area of New York airport. 

Though it’s a good place to pass your time enjoying many things, there are things you should not attempt when you are there for a short period. If you want to be well-prepared, read the article to know what you need to avoid during the flight layover. Before we delve into it, let’s understand the basics.

What Exactly Is a Flight Layover?

A layover is when a flight is interrupted at a specific point so that passengers can board a different aircraft and continue their journey to their destination. On flights with layovers, airport personnel transports your luggage to the new aircraft during the aircraft transition. 

Generally, it is a good idea to give yourself a resting time of at least 1 hour between domestic flights and 2 hours for international flights. In some cases, you might not have control over your layover. An airline may not sell you a ticket if your connection time is too short, but it does not mean you will not be under much stress, regardless of how long your connection is. 

Booking a trip with a longer layover may alleviate your anxiety about missing your flight in the event of a delay.

Why Do Flights Have Layovers?

There are various reasons why many flights must be divided into pieces. These include landings for refueling, passenger pickup, and dropoff, and connections between flights on different itineraries. If you don’t want to get off the plane and see the sights of your destination (or the airport), you need to stick to nonstop or direct flights.

What to Avoid During Flight Layover?

There are several things to do during a layover in New York. But, before doing any of that, you need to know the things that should be avoided first. 

1. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

It doesn’t matter how exhausted or bored you are, alcohol consumption is never a good idea to make your layover more enjoyable. You definitely do not want to be that horrible, restless seat companion who gives out the smell of booze and snores your head out during the entire flight while you’re in the air. If you can not but drink alcohol, make sure to do it within a limit. Check out Esquire’s guide to drinking at the airport.

2. Leaving the Airport

Passing through immigration and customs during a long layover of six hours or more can be tempting, especially if you have time to kill before your flight. The proposal seems reasonable.

What if you encounter unexpected difficulties and cannot return to the terminal in time? If you have a stopover at the airport, you should think twice before venturing on your own. But, if you have confidence that you can return on time, the decision and consequences are yours to follow.

3. Sleeping without Setting the Alarm 

You book a room at an airport hotel, but instead of setting the alarm or leaving a note, you decide to sleep it off. Then, a short while after takeoff, you awake. Think about how you’d react.

If you need a wake-up call, please leave a note at the front desk. You can’t overlook this fact.

4. Eating Too Much 

Overindulgence in food might make you feel sluggish and bloated. There may be plenty of room in the bathrooms at the airport, but what if you need to use the airplane’s tiny, uncomfortably enclosed toilet a lot because you couldn’t hold it?

It’s important to eat sensibly while traveling. If you know you have an adverse reaction to specific dishes, now is not the time to try new restaurants. You can eat as much as you want once you get there, but you should hold off until then. Here are some tips for eating healthy at the airport.

5. Leaving the Belongings Unattended

Keep your belongings with you at all times, even when using the restroom, to avoid having them confiscated by airport security. This is the ethical thing to do, but it’s also a precaution we should take.

It’s not always a good idea to ask a total stranger to watch your stuff while you dash off to the restroom. Have your belongings close at hand at all times to avoid any kind of issues.

6. Not Reaching the Boarding Gate Early

Before the scheduled departure time of your flight, you should always find the boarding gate and maintain checking for any updates on the departure gate and time. Staying calm and traveling comfortably is the best way to handle any travel situation.

7. Sending Sensitive Data over WiFi

Due to the high risk of identity theft or fraud when using unprotected public WiFi, it is important to avoid sending any personal information. Logging into any financial accounts while in a public place may cause serious issues with your personal information or sensitive data.

8. Too Much Shopping

When going shopping, you should always practice self-control, especially if you have a restricted amount of room in the carry-on bag. You would not want to find yourself in a situation where you have a lot of shopping bags but nobody to help you to bring them.

What to Do to Remain Sane During Layovers?

Making a fuss, throwing a tantrum, or moaning about the delay will not hasten the layover; therefore, the sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you may enjoy the extra time at your disposal. If you have a long layover ahead of you, here are some activities to do to pass the time.

Get Organized 

Let’s say you have a long layover, and, knowing you’ll be sleeping anyway, you decide to bring your favorite bedsheet and eye mask along with you. Unfortunately, you then miss to A) set a timer and B) find the gate for the connecting flight. 

Figure out where you must go and when you want to get there before you read, sleep, dine, make new friends, check your beloved Facebook, or shop. 

Find out how long it would take you to commute from one place to another by checking flight times and airport maps. Inquire if there have been any schedule shifts that might prevent you from making the connection on time. After you’ve gotten yourself organized and know what to do next, you can unwind a bit.

Refresh and Recharge

Some New York airports may provide travelers with private showers for a modest cost. Some visitors who have some extra time like to buy a day pass from a nearby hotel and enjoy its facilities, including its pools, saunas, gyms, and showers. 

Some international airports charge a nominal price for “shower and change” services provided inside airport hotels. Depending on the layover time, you can refresh or recharge anywhere near the airport.

People Watching 

For sheer people-watching, there is no better location than an airport. There is a wide variety of people here, everyone with their background, goals, and life experiences. 

You can have a pleasant time speculating on these individuals’ identities, destinations, and backstories. Spending a few hours inside an airport is indeed the best place to people-watch because of the variety of characters you’ll encounter there.

Explore the City 

If you have four or more hours to kill, you have the option to leave your bags at the left luggage counter at any of the New York airports and head out sightseeing and eat something light. 

Use public transport (or stroll) to nearby attractions recommended by a representative at the information desk. To re-enter the airport upon your return, please ensure you have your boarding card and photo identification with you. Here’s our take on why NYC is a great place to explore.

Final Words 

Typically, the companionship among the group members helps to make the wait for a flight layover more tolerable, which is one of the benefits of group travel. At least you are not stuck on a long layover alone while some folks sleep, talk, or get lost in their phones. You have a little bit of time until your next flight to relax, walk around, and use the restroom. 

Make the most of your layover in New York with creativity and patience, and you’ll soon be on your way to your final destination. Just remember to avoid the things mentioned above to ensure the journey and the flight layover are a little more tolerable and peaceful.