I usually pride myself on how well I travel, soup to nuts, from booking to sailing through the airport and handling irregular ops. I sweet talk hotel check-in agents for upgrades, game my flights to maximize upgrade changes, and generally maintain strong situational awareness.
I love reading Lucky’s blog because it seems like he’s sharing a stupid move he’s made on almost every trip. It makes him a far more entertaining read, I think, than I’ll ever be. I tend towards a far more analytical approach which best suits my personality.
But sometimes I do something stupid. Or come off like a total newbie traveler. Like this past Thursday.
I was flying up to New York and I was looking at a short delay. I sat down near my gate, at National airport’s round tables near just past the gate area and closer to the restaurants. I could see the screen at my gate.
The 1:05pm flight was supposed to depart at 1:39pm. I couldn’t get the airport wireless connection to function properly so I was online using my Verizon MiFi. And I was just totally plugged in, churning out a ton of work.
All of a sudden I looked up and it was 2pm. I googled my flight, since I didn’t want to get up from my seat to look at the departure monitors, and it showed the 1:39pm departure. I looked up at the departure board by the gate and the flight was no longer listed. Dang, I thought. How could I have done that?
I mean, I know that I get pretty focused sometimes but I imagined I would have heard the announcements. And to miss boarding and departure entirely, when I was sitting right beside the gate area, I’ve never done that before!
I walked up to the gate agent.
- Me: I think I’m going to be your dumbest passenger of the day.
Agent: Oh, I doubt that!
Me: Well, you just wait….
Agent: What can I do for you?
Me: I was supposed to be on the 1:05pm flight. I see that it’s departed, in fact my computer says it’s minutes away from landing in New York. I’ve been sitting right there, I can’t imagine how I did that… so I’m wondering if there’s any space at all on the next flight?
Agent: Your flight will be boarding in just a couple of minutes.
Me: (averts eyes, ducks head) Ok, thank you!
And with that I knew I wouldn’t miss my evening appointment…