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There is a certain level of anxiety that accompanies a trip to the airport. To be completely honest, I sort of hate myself for writing a blog about flying because it’s been covered way too much by douchebags bragging about their mileage points and claiming that “if you don’t fly first class and have a Delta Sky Lounge card and blah blah blah you’re a nobody.” To that, all I have to say is this:
Just get a seat in coach like everyone else (unless you’re flying internationally, in which case definitely upgrade if you’ve got the means), eat half a Xanax, and go to sleep. Ponying up extra dollars for perks on a three-hour flight from NYC to Miami or Detroit to Nashville is the dumbest shit ever. I hate articles like that and I promise you this is not one of them. So back to my original point here.
It doesn’t matter whether you yourself are flying or if you’re simply driving someone there so that they can catch a flight, there’s just a level of anxiousness attached to the prospect of willingly going to a place with stringent security and large amounts of people.
I’ve been a proponent of arriving at the airport early my entire adult life and it’s because of my time spent flying as a child. I can remember complaining about this frequently as a youngster when I’d have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to catch a flight to Marco Island or Hilton Head that wasn’t leaving until 7:00 a.m. The airport was probably 45-55 minutes from my childhood home, and my family would always have ample time to spend before taking off. “You can sleep on the plane,” my dad would say.
We’ve all heard that age-old cliche about how all boys eventually become their fathers, and even though I don’t agree with that maxim entirely, like any cliche there are slivers of truth to it. One thing that I’ve been indoctrinated to believe (thanks to my dad) is that you need to arrive early to the airport if you’re trying to catch a flight.
A long line at TSA, a gate change on the other end of the airport, or computer issues at the ticket counter (which, back when I was a kid was still a problem because of the whole no smartphone thing) – Murphy’s Law, which states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, has never been more true than it is inside the confines of an airport. Leave nothing to chance on a day when you are taking part in the miracle of flight.
This could very well be another case of me straying away from the millennial status quo because I don’t know a ton of my friends who arrive at their departure zone with more than fifteen minutes of leeway time before their flight takes off.
That to me is insanity, and I shake my head in disbelief every time I hear about a coworker or friend who misses an important flight because their Uber driver took an obscure route that he thought would be faster. Why leave your fate in the hands of a grumpy cab driver or disgruntled TSA agent that is taking an exhausting amount of time to stop the conveyor belt to study the x-ray machine each time a bag goes by?
I understand the idea – if you can please excuse the pun – of flying by the seat of your pants. It’s exhilarating but it simply isn’t in my constitution to leave the act of making a flight to chance. Some people are just naturally prone to being late, but I am not one of them. I am always the first of my friends to arrive at a pre-arranged bar or restaurant, and I guess it bubbles over into how I choose to fly.
I myself like to arrive at the airport with at least an hour and a half to hang out in the terminal, where I’ll treat myself to an overpriced snack and a FIJI water because that’s just what you do when you’re in an airport. You treat yourself.
People watching is a forgotten activity in the age of smartphones, but in an international airport, it is every bit as good as anything streaming on Netflix or HBO Now. The absolute dregs of humanity are constantly on display here.
And even though the idea of dressing up to fly has become old hat to anyone under the age of 40 (replaced with Lulu sweats and moisture wicking t-shirts) you can still tell the difference between a person who got to their terminal with time to spare and someone who is hanging on by a thread.
Both the early and the late will be wearing athleisure, however, there’s a striking difference between the two. The lark will have FIJI water in hand and their phone charging in one of the primo outlets very close to the gate. With their feet up on their carry on, their tablet will be playing an episode of Always Sunny or Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The sluggard, still wearing athleisure, will have no FIJI water. The battery on their phone will be hovering around 30%, and since they’ve only got 15 minutes before takeoff, all of those aforementioned wall outlets will have been taken by more responsible people.
They are disheveled, tired from sprinting to the gate, and altogether disgusting. Be an adult and get there with an hour or two to spare. There aren’t many things as anxiety inducing as the feeling of being rushed. Now sit back and enjoy this classic deep cut from ATB.
*extremely German voice*
At the beginning of November 1998,
a huge and strong hurricane approached Central America,
and it started raining…too much rain over paradise. .