How to survive massive airport delays without losing your mind or humanity (as determined by my recent experiences):
1. Don't let yourself get too hungry or thirsty.
I had a little baggie of emergency almonds in my purse.
2. Remember that the flight crew probably has nothing to do with the delays.
They don't want to be stuck on the tarmac any more than you do. Telling them that they should be embarrassed, as one man on my flight did, just makes you looks like a jackass to the rest of the passengers. Be nice to the flight crew, because then they will be nice to you.
3. Bring more to read then you would think you'd possibly need.
I still prefer actual paper books for day-to-day reading, but for traveling, nothing beats my Kindle.
4. Pretend you are a character in a light-hearted movie.
Perhaps a farce or a romantic comedy about a young woman trying to make it as a professional dealing with comically terrible travel luck. Just don't imagine the movie is a thriller or a horror movie. The Philly airport at 1:30am is pretty creepy if you're in a horror movie.
5. When other passengers irritate you, think that your excellent behavior can set a good example for them.
Not for any noble reasons. It's so you get to feel all superior and smug with yourself.
6. Imagine telling it to people later.
"And then we were told we'd be sitting in the plane for another hour! Can you believe it?!"
7. In the words of Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation, "Treat Yo' Self!"
When I found out I'd be arriving to my hotel at 2a.m. at the earliest, I canceled my early-morning meeting for the next day. I dropped money on a delicious dinner snack thing once I got to the hotel, and I realllly enjoyed it. (Seriously, are you familiar with GoPicnic? I just had one last night. They are so delicious and clever and yummy, and come with little Sudoku puzzles for you to do while you eat.) Then I slept till noon the next day.