The 10-mile sprint (or so it seems)

We’ve all witnessed it — we may have even had to do it ourselves … that frantic run through an airport – a mad dash to get to the gate before that door closes and you’re left behind.

Or you make it to the gate with seconds to spare and still have to do that walk of shame down the aisle knowing YOU are the reason the entire flight is now waiting to leave.

Thousands of people take for granted they will always make their flight, cruise or rail departure on time. And of those thousands of people, 30% of them WILL BE LATE.

oh, the agony …

In the worst-case scenario, you get to the gate and see the door is already closed and the first thing you do is start to make this an “all about me” moment. That stunned reaction that they actually are leaving with YOU. The turning around the gate area to see who you can plead with to have them let you on. You turn your attentions to any gate attendant who try to politely tell you “rules are rules, and once the door is closed, it’s closed.” You’re angry. DON’T take it out on the individual who is only doing their job. YOU’RE THE REASON YOU’RE LATE. If you had only started out earlier ….

Numerous travel experts and self-proclaimed pro’s will tell you the advantages of not just arriving early to the airport, but taking advantage of an inexpensive PARK/STAY/FLY package at one of the local airport hotels. We usually head over to the airport the night BEFORE our departing flight and stay at a convenient Holiday Inn with its own restaurant/bar in the lobby. We check in, I drive the car over to the parking lot, grab the shuttle back to the hotel … in essence, the vacation has begun. We have a nice simple dinner downstairs, retire for the night and come morning, we grab the shuttle to the airport.

We’re not leaving THE MORNING OF OUR FLIGHT and worrying about traffic congestion, construction delays, finding a parking spot, THEN facing the hordes at the check-in counters.

Yes, we’re still getting to the aiport a few hours before our flight, but usually (and I keep my fingers crossed) we’re sitting comfortably having coffee … watching some 30% of the world go running past us. ■

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