I missed another flight, which meant I missed my business class connection on a premium transcontinental flight and several hours of productivity. While an overzealous gate agent was literally to blame, I blame myself for cutting it too close.
Another Missed Flight – Time To Learn My Lesson…
It was on a flight from Burbank to San Francisco. The departure was at 6:09pm and I arrived at the airport at 5:50p and was to the gate by 5:54pm, right at the 15-minute cutoff for boarding.
The gate area was deserted, the aircraft door closed, and the air stairs had been pulled away. A gate agent appeared, asking if I was Mr. Klint. I told her that I was on-time. She responded, “I paged you.”
Well, duh. I wasn’t at the airport yet. The plane was there right there. We were still 12 minutes before departure time. I asked if she would see if the captain would re-open the door. She refused.
Fine, I thought…arguing is simply not worthwhile.
That meant I missed my San Francisco – Newark connection in business class on the 777-300ER, which would have given me a few hours to work and have dinner at SFO, then sleep, then arrive early in the morning into Newark.
I looked at space from Los Angeles…all flights to Newark were full, even in economy class. For a few moments, I considered buying a $200 walk-up ticket on another carrier from BUR-SFO, but I could not justify the expense…every purchase, every trip is a cost-benefit analysis and I simply don’t have $200 here and $200 there to heap on what amounts to upgrades for leisure trips. That would have messed up the sequencing of the ticket too…you can’t just skip segments.
So I rebooked myself from Los Angeles to Newark…via Orlando. Why Orlando? It allowed me to upgrade LAX-MCO. Although MCO-EWR was full, the flight was less than 30% full in the back and I had an exit row all to myself.
So I lost my lie-flat seat (the LAX-MCO flight was operated by a 737 MAX), lost a bunch of time, and had to drive to LAX.
On a positive note, I went back home and enjoyed dinner with my wife and kids. That somewhat made the missed flight more stomachable. Somewhat.
I can rant and rave about the gate agent all day long and have written the airline about closing up flights early. But ultimately, if I had just allowed myself some more time, I would have made the flight. I cut it too close, even if I was technically on-time.
A wise person once told me to arrive to every appointment 15 minutes early. Use the extra time to read, pray, think, work, or relax. It’s a good strategy that I intend to implement going forward.
I have this bad habit of cutting things too close: I also wasn’t technically blame for a missed flight from LA to San Francisco earlier this year, but had I just allowed myself more time, we would have made it…it created quite a headache.
I’m so sick of missing flights. Rookie move. Such a rookie move. As easy as it is to heap blame on the gate agent, I am simply going to allow myself more time next time. At least that’s the plan…