I fly a decent amount. I mean, I’m no service engineer, but I probably take a trip through Hartford’s airport between one and two times a month. So I feel I have a decent understanding of the airport system and have got my timing down pretty well. Usually I get to the airport with enough time to enjoy a little breakfast pre boarding.
Such was not the case today.
My flight left at 6:40am it would fly through Detroit to Houston ultimately arriving in Texas at 11:45. I walked through the front gate of Bradley Airport in CT at 6:00 to see a wall of people.
“Oh no” I thought and probably said out loud.
So I booked it over to the Southwest Airlines boarding area and got in line… behind a Marching Band. There was actually a marching band in front of me. What horrible luck! Here I was stressing out as my watch approached T-30 minutes ’till departure while teenage boys loaded their percussion instruments and trombones onto the baggage scales.
At 6:23 I reached the front.
They took my bag, gave me my boarding pass, and said “Hurry.”
So I ran. And reached another wall of people at security. I snaked my way in front of a huge group of people, zipped through security and as I ran down toward my gate, my shoelaces loose and whipping around my feet, I glanced at my watch. 6:34.
I spun into the gate… to find it completely empty. The plane was there, but boarding was over.
So I zipped over to the Southwest counter. My heart pumping furiously (there are few things I hate more than being late).
“Help! I need to get to Houston! I missed my flight!”
“what’s your name?”
“okay…” pause “Quick! Get on that plane!”
The Southwest lady pointed to a door down the hall.
I ran down the hall, reached the door, and was ushered through by another Southwest agent who was talking via Walkie-talkie to southwest lady #1.
I raced to the plane door and found a full flight. There was a lone seat available in row 6. I snagged it and sat down.
“Hi guys, sorry to take the middle seat.”
“no problem. they told us the flight was full.”
“so… where is this plane going?”
A few hours later the plane was landing. It pulled up to the gate at 8:33 local time. I booked it out of the plane, and over to another service desk.
“I need to get to Houston!!”
“Take this. Get on that plane.”
And off I went running. I walked up to the gate and got on plane number two. It was 8:36.
I sat down.
“excuse me,” I asked the woman next to me, “Where is this plane going?”
“whoa! how long is the flight?”
“about an hour and forty minutes.”
And that’s how I got to Houston over an hour before my scheduled flight was expected to land. That’s right. By missing my flight, I got to my destination earlier.
It couldn’t have worked out better.