My husband and I noticed that the parents who knew their children and were prepared for the trip had the easiest time. If you know that your child likes to spend time on computer or read an interesting science fiction book, make sure you bring that with you on your trip. Usually, the things that keep children busy at the airport or on the plane are the very same things that they enjoy doing in their daily life.
I would love to hear others to share what works for you when you are stuck with your children in this sort of unpleasant travel situation? Do you read them a book? Do you play a game with them? Do you find a restaurant to sit and hang out together at?