When Flights are Delayed: Unusual Airport Time-Killers

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Nothing to do in Heathrow? Impossible. Among its attractions, it's a shopper's paradise with an incredible array of designer shops filled with stocking stuffers like a sapphire diamond pendant set in platinum (Tiffany, $14,000). But say you hate to being in stores; the London airport has you covered with its free 'personal shopper' service.

Get out the red-checked table cloth at Los Angeles International thanks to a shop called Petrossian Champagne and Caviar Bar, which will be happy to make you a "picnic pack" for the plane, or for dining al fresco at the gate area if you're waiting on a flight. Naturally, the pack includes lots of fancy fish eggs but then it should since it costs just under $1,600. If you can't afford that and it's getting you down, try petting one of the therapy dogs running around LAX; these vest-wearing pups patrol the terminals in search of harried passengers who need some love.

Need some serenity? Several airports around the world say they can provide exactly that thanks to an unusual selection of horticultural experiences: See Dubai's airport for not one but two Zen Gardens; or Seoul's award-winning Incheon for a tree garden and a rock garden. Singapore even has a cactus garden which is said to be otherworldly, but then so is its live butterfly habitat.

Maybe all this serenity will put a delayed flight in perspective. Or, maybe give us an inkling why ticket prices are getting so high! But at least you'll have some fun.

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