Despite the hassle of security clearances and waiting at airports, I usually enjoy my time in the air. I find it relaxing and productive. No cell phone or pages to deal with. No bureaucratic meetings. I stay off wifi (as I'm too cheap to pay for it), so don't have the distraction of the email or the internet. So I have some free time on my hands when flying, a rarity for me.
That said, I don't have trouble filling those hours. Depending on the length of the flight, the type of aircraft and how tired I am, I might watch a move if an interesting one is on the in flight menu. Or I might read a book, or listen to an audiobook. Or combine an audiobook with organizing and labeling my thousands of photos on my laptop. If it's a long overseas flight, I'll definitely try to get some sleep.
I recently came across a story at this link about a woman who wrote a novel while flying. Talk about an impressive use of time! Among her tips for being productive in the air are: 1) don't use the wifi, 2) pick an uncomfortable seat (so you don't nap), 3) drink lots of coffee, 4) people watch for inspiration.... and a few other tips.
How do you fill up your flying time?