Why Do People Go To Their Gate Before Heading Off To Find Food In The Airport? [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Virgin Atlantic joins SkyTeam and I’m having a hard time getting excited, they’re already in a joint venture with Delta, Air France, and KLM. This does provide incremental elite benefits and redemption opportunities with other SkyTeam airlines like Aeromexico, China Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

  • Nine years after US Airways took over American Airlines, the legacy US fleet of 48 Airbus A320s remains a basket of deplorables. Truly shocking – most are old America West planes, and many from the late 90s.

  • Emotional support animals, still a thing despite a ‘crackdown’.

  • Do you ‘touch the base’ before heading off to do anything else in the airport too?

  • “Sing like no one is listening, love like you never been hurt, dance like no one is watching and live like it is heaven on earth.”

  • New dessert in United Airlines long haul economy

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. In unfamiliar airports, I often locate my gate so that I can find it efficiently and ensure I don’t wander too far for the time available. This isn’t usually a problem, but there have been exceptions that made me pick up the habit. It also helps ensure there’s not some missing context I should be aware of (e.g. plane hasn’t arrived, even 30m prior to departure, or there’s an active riot, as is sometimes the case in MIA).

  2. If I am unfamiliar with the airport and have ample time, I’ll often scope out the gate before heading off for food or a lounge. It’s good to know if the layout is such that the boarding lane is likely to be completely blocked by gate lice early in the running, etc. plus sometimes the gate area itself can be tough to locate or surprisingly far from the gate next to it, etc.

  3. I don’t physically check out the gate, but I do peruse a terminal map. One time at LGA, I’m not sure how this happened, but there was a TSA checkpoint between the Admirals Club and the AA flight I was taking.

  4. I like to know where my gate is before going foraging for food. Though I make sure to take note of any favorite food places around.

  5. I do this for unfamiliar airports or gates, for the reasons above, and for airports where they frequently change gates, like Ordway, just to make sure it looks like it is still going out of there. Other cases, no.

  6. I do it on long flights to check out the people I am stuck with, and then I say a few prayers: “Please don’t put that one anywhere near me, thank you, or that one, or that one, or that one too. Amen.”

  7. I do this although it’s probably no longer necessary. In the old days, the airport displays were not always up to date and I had a few instances where a recent gate change wasn’t showing. This caused me to be waiting at the wrong gate. (Once, in Tampa the information on the monitors were from the prior day! Needless to say, this caused quite a bit of confusion.)

  8. Q.: Why Do People Go To Their Gate Before Heading Off To Find Food In The Airport?
    A.: To ask the other gate lice at your gate three hours before departure where is the best place in the airport to order avocado toast and coffee.

  9. I almost always go check out the gate first. Do we have our plane yet? Does the display monitor at the gate show our flight, at the time I am expecting? Once I feel confident that all is in order, I can relax and go buy some snacks, etc… Sometimes your flight isn’t listed, they’ve changed gates or even terminals, or the time has changed, and you need to use that snack-shopping time doing some problem solving. It’s rare, but better safe than sorry.

  10. One time at Narita I was poking around, having a coffee etc when I realized they were paging ME! Yikes I ran the rest of the way to the plane. They were waiting to close the door as soon as I stepped in. Ever since I find the gate first and don’t get very far away from it.

  11. I’ve done this every since that one time at LIS when I was totally surprised to find the gate was a good half hour and a passport check away from the main food area.

  12. Look at the puppy on the plane. 30 lb dog sitting on your lap for how many hours? What Gate Agent allowed that thing through

  13. It depends. If I have lots of time and I am in an unfamiliar terminal, I may check the gate first to get a look at the layout (where to lineup, how much space is there, etc) as that could effect my decision on how soon I need to be there to ensure I’ll have an overhead bin when I board. I would also do it to judge the walk time to the gate from wherever I am eating (lounge, food cout, restaraunt, etc)

  14. Tomri, that dog is probably closer to 30kg than 30 pounds.

    And people always check the gate out because you never know how long it will take to get to your gate. Hidden escalators, faulty lifts, additional ticket screening (I’ve been to airports where you queue and present tickets up 2 more times after passport/security control to get into the final sectioned off waiting area).

    Why people go to their gate first is because unexpected things and no gate is the same. It’s not a unwarranted behaviour.

  15. Don’t you hate when you’ve passed all the delicious joints to get food and drink, then get to your gate and there’s nothing around? No time to run that mile back to the nearest feeding hole.

  16. I like to locate the gate to see what’s around especially in unfamiliar airports but I also do alot of long haul flying so stretching one’s legs is paramount before sitting and grabbing some food or drink.

  17. I always do this to make sure the flight is still leaving the assigned gate. Airports are a mess with changes!

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