I am involuntarily hanging out in an Airport today. My 11:30 a.m. flight was canceled due to a broken airplane. Meh.
Here is a tip. When you reserve your flight, put the airline's re-booking phone number in your cell phone. When the airline gate attendant makes the announcement that your flight has been canceled there will be a massive stampede up to the counter. Take your place in line and immediately call rebooking. By calling in before they hand out the phone number you have a jump start on the 150 other people in line jockeying for a seat. The people on the phone will almost always be faster than waiting in line for the gate attendants, especially if you beat the crowd.
Bonus tip: If you are going to be stuck for hours, you may be able to score a food voucher. Today was my first one of those. I got a $12 lunch ticket. The Twisted Chips and Apple Pie from O'Charleys were pretty good.)(Food tastes better when it is free!)
The American Airlines rebooking number is 800-446-7834. If you make status on the airline you get a different number. It should be on the back of the card.