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Getting to the airport on time.  Tales from the past 5 years.
  • A friend of the mom's decided we had enough time on the ride to the airport to direct the driver to take the scenic route.  We ended up getting lost and ended up going in the opposite direction of the airport, TWICE.  Worse, after we had arrived at the airport later than planned, Mom and friend decided to look around the airport for a payphone to make a call before we had gotten through security and immigration!!  We were stuck in line at immigration when we heard the final boarding call for our flight announced on the loudspeakers.

  • A roommate offered to drop me off at the airport, which is normally about a 30-minute or less drive.  Roommate decides to pick up something from the mall on the way.  We get stuck horribly in traffic the remainder of the way to the airport.  I check-in, my watch showing the exact time the plane is due to lift off.

  • My relatives decided to incorporate a visit to my grandfather's grave on the way to dropping me off at the airport.  That was fine, until I got to the LAX American Airlines terminal with 45 minutes to spare and a HUGE check-in line and a HUGER security line.  Watching the minutes tick away as I was stuck in the check-in line was not fun, but overhearing the woman behind me tell someone that her plane to Mexico left in 15 minutes was.

  • Due to unforseeable circumstances, I was given over to the charge of someone I had never met, to take me to an airport 70 miles away.  This person, I later found out, was not familiar with the area and had no idea where he was, so even printed driving directions didn't help.  We finally made it to the airport, and he dumped me and my oversized, excess, and extremely heavy luggage off with only half an hour to spare before the plane took off.
Although each of these scenarios actually had a happy ending, I think 10 years x four scenarios = that's 40 years off my healthy life span due to excess stress.

So, boys and girls, unless you are super-utterly-confident in them (or willing to insist firmly on having things your way), do NOT rely on any relative, friend, or acquaintance to drop you off at the airport in time (if you can help it!)  They may think they are helping you out, but they often have no idea how long it takes to check-in or to bypass security, etc.  Or they may not know of your personal comfort zone for arriving early for flights and wonder why you are wimpering in the passenger seat, praying fervently as you sit in traffic. 

Or they may have no bloody idea where they are going.

Other horror stories? Please do tell.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 14th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC)
Leaving for the airport on Christmas eve, getting half way there thinking I hadn't locked the front door. We had left heaps of time, but still. It's one of those things you always think. I insisted we go back, and lo, I had not locked the door!

There are a million and 1 stories of my mum being late, always leaving Adelaide because her brothers are terrible at getting anyone anywhere on time. Same goes for them picking us up.
May. 14th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
I always rely on my Dad when I'm in the UK, and the roommate when I'm in the US. They're completely different.

Dad likes to make sure I'm there about 3 hours before the plane takes off. Just in case. So we end up leaving 5 hours before the flight for an hour's journey. Just in case. So I know Heathrow like the back of my hand!

The Roommate (possibly assisted by the fact that the flight I always take out of Newark leaves at 8am) has to make numerous stops along the way for coffee. The last flight I took back to the UK, I arrived at the airport at 7:40. Stark contrast. Thank all kinds of gods for Online Check-in!

Headed back home on Friday, with the missus. Hopefully we'll make it to the airport in time! *keeps fingers crossed*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )