Why check-in for flights early
I missed it. Missed my morning flight from Newark to Seattle. I missed Day 1 of the Multi-site Exposed conference. I’m such a novice road warrior wannabe.
This day would have been entirely different had I done 1 thing: Check-in early for my flight the night before.
Here’s what coulda been: I’d have had boarding pass in hand, lined up to security at 757am, and right up to the gate at 815am for just-in-time 825am on-time departure.
Instead, here’s what happened- I did not check-in early, so no boarding pass in hand. I ate breakfast (egg + sausage on Engl muffin) at the hotel nearby the airport, packed ready to go, hopped into my rental car at 720am. I drive thru the crazy interchange outside of Newark Liberty airport, swirl around the circuitous route to Rental car return. I get on the AirTrain taking its sweet time slowly going from P2 to P1 to A then B then terminal C at 754am.
I get to the self-serve check-in, the slow terminal tells me I have to check-in at gate. I run over to security with the e-itinerary in hand, they wouldn’t let me thru, and said I have to check-in at ticket counter. I run over to ticket counter, tell people I have to catch a flight in less than 30 mins, they let me cut. I hand over my itinerary and driver’s license at 803am. No deal. They said gate’s closed. What? I thought they close the gate at 10 minutes. Nope. Agent says it’s 30 minutes, and that’s why say to arrive at airport 1 to 2 hours before departure.
I’m handed a standby boarding pass for 215pm, the next flight. I wait at terminal C for 5+ hours. My AT+T Edge network is down for the 3rd day in a row- no email, no browsing internet. I drink a smoothie. Catch a nap- tired from early wakeup and life in The City. Clean up my inbox. Prep for the Seattle conference. Watch planes take off and land. Read 3 chapters from Vince Antonucci’s book about a life of adventure with Jesus.
115pm. I wait at gate 88. Watch all the people board this overbooked flight. They ask for a volunteer to take a later flight for $300 voucher + meals. They up the ante to $400 + meals. Don’t know if anyone bit.
205pm. They call me up to the counter, and 1 other guy. 1 guy runs down the escalator with a boarding pass + confirmed seat, so he gets on. They say there’s 1 seat left. For a standby! They hand it over to the other guy. Good grief.
209pm. I twitter the bad news over SMS (edge ntwk still down): Didn’t make it. I was #2 on standby list. #1 guy made it. 1 guy ran on just in time. I’m getting rolled over to nxt flt @ 605p.
210pm. The flight attendants find an open seat 25B. I walk thru the aisle with everybody seated, every seat full. My seat’s 4th row from back. Sit + buckle. I twitter @ 211pm the good news: Correction, they rush me on last. 25B. See you in Seattle
Aside: the other standby guy sits directly behind my middle seat.