What to do at the Nashville Airport When Your Flight is Delayed


Delayed flights are frustrating and often feel like a huge waste of time, especially if you're stuck in a place with nothing to see or do. Luckily, Nashville International Airport (BNA) has you covered if the flight schedule gets a bit sticky. The best part is that you don't even have to leave BNA to experience the city.

Eat Yourself Silly
With 26 restaurants all across the terminal, you cannot complain of hunger while stuck in BNA. I've been in airports where a delayed flight meant sitting in a small waiting area with no amenities, but that's not the case in Nashville. In the South, we like to eat. Correction: we LOVE to eat, and we love our local foods and beverages. Hop over to any one of the concessions offerings and you can try everything from burritos to coffee to Tennessee-brewed beers. You can even get the feel of downtown by dipping into a smaller version of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Live music and celebrities are far from sparse at BNA, so you're also likely to rub elbows with the greats while at the bar. And if you're not feeling a good sit down, recent changes in rules allow patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages and walk around with them. You sure can't do that on Broadway!

Shop Til You Drop
A delayed flight means more time to seek out "I Love Nashville" t-shirts. Twenty-two retail establishments line the walls of BNA, and they cover all shopping needs. Personal items, books, snacks, gifts, clothes -- you name it and our airport probably has it stocked somewhere. Some places are even airport-themed. Fly Babies is a cute children's store with boutique items for kids. Mommas who love big bows and cutesy clothes for the littles can use the unexpected extra time to outfit the youngins. Businessmen can grab the paper at Hudson News, and ladies can upkeep manicures and shrug off flight delay stress at the salon and spa. Just think of your time in BNA as a trip extension, not as a waste.

Flex Your Artistic Muscle
Art exhibits and live music are all around the airport, and you can't go far without noticing. Some restaurants provide the entertainment, but some corners in the terminal actually have small stages for shows. Rotating art exhibits are set up at every turn; currently, you can see individual artwork related to flying and airports, and there's a special Bonnaroo skylight exhibit through the end of August. Be excited -- you're experiencing the locals without paying any extra.

A Final Thought
Nashville is a cool city, but you might not have enough time to fight the traffic for a true Nashvegas experience, especially if you're on a fairly strict flight schedule. Being stuck in an airport is no fun, but being stuck in Nashville International Airport can be a rewarding experience. If you have to wait, why not do it with a cold TN beer in one hand and the other slapping your leg to the beat of some honky tonk jams. I hope your flight is on time, but if it's not, I hope you've been in Nashville and can enjoy us for a bit longer. Happy flying!

Ashley is an English teacher, cat lover and fitness freak with a love of words and an equal affinity for talking and eating. She enjoys family and friends and truly believes that dancing while eating makes everything taste better -- especially chocolate and coffee.