So I Missed Another Flight
You would think after 10 years of traveling to over 20 countries (some on multiple occasions) and routinely flying between Chicago and Minneapolis for the past five, I might know a little something about proper travel procedures. But somehow, I am still always that girl sprinting through the airport trying to make her flight on time. You know, the one getting all the weird looks from the normal people that leave with adequate time to relax before their flight and the occasional "Run, Forrest, run!" shouted at her in passing. Good times. On most occasions I arrive huffing and puffing in victory just as the gate agent announces the final boarding call, making it on my flight with moments to spare. Except for that one time I left my apartment way too late because I didn't want to wait around at the airport, missing my flight and barely making it back in time for my friends' movie premiere because I had to catch a later plane. And last year when Candice and I completely overslept our flight back to Chicago after a weekend visiting my hometown. You could also maaaaybe count that time when my aunt and uncle had to come pick me up at LAX because I'd missed my flight to Australia, but that was because there was a blizzard in Minneapolis delaying everything, so that time it actually wasn't my fault.
Unfortunately today probably was. In my defense, I thought hopping on the Division Blue Line at 7am would give me more than enough time to get to O'Hare for an 8:35 flight. Especially since I'd already checked in. In an effort to make myself feel better, I'm going to blame this mishap on long security lines. Or maybe the fact that Spirit Airlines does really suck as hard as everyone says it does.
I'll go with the latter.
When I went to print my boarding pass at 7:54, I got the unfortunate message that it was too late to check in. An Australian girl was in the same boat so the ticket agent got us set up with tickets and gave us a condescending good luck as we ran to the winding security line. The race was on.
After sitting in security for 30 minutes, I threw my boots on and took off running with my laptop in hand because who has time to put that away when you're in a showdown against the clock? And again, in my defense, they didn't even make me take my shoes off or separate my laptop when I went through security in Minneapolis on my way to Chicago. You really can't underestimate the extra time it takes to do that shit.
At exactly 8:35 on the dot, I arrived at the gate. Hell yes! I thought when I realized the plane was still there. But where the hell is the agent? And what happened to that Australian chick? There's no way she could've beaten me here.
She showed up about 3 minutes later along with a Spirit agent who told us we were out of luck and even though the plane was still there, they'd already done their paperwork and there was no way to get us on the flight. Even though it was still on the tarmac and the tunnel connecting the plane to the airport (apparently this is called a "jetbridge") was still in tact. And I was one of NINE people that got the same half-hearted, "sorry-there's-nothing-we-can-do" speech.
Now honestly, I think they must've overbooked the flight and us stragglers were really a blessing in disguise for those budget airfare assholes.
Or maybe I just need to leave for the airport a little earlier.
Not to worry: I made it home. Instead of waiting around at O'Hare all day for the 50/50 chance that I'd get on the 7:45pm Spirit standby flight, I sprung for an alternate Delta flight (which I should've done from the start) that left at noon.
The lesson here: give yourself at least an hour to get checked in and go through security at the airport--even if you really hate waiting around at airports. This lesson is more for me than anyone else. That is all.