Today something happened that has not happened to me in 60.5 months … yes 60.5 months, I remember exactly when it happened and under what circumstances.
Sometimes all the planning and pre-planned and factoring in of traffic and weather can come crashing down and the best laid plans lead to you standing at the ticket counter muttering under your breath. How does this happen? Well even following cardinal rules of travel can leave you feeling like you’ve taken a long walk off a short pier.
…so what happened today? I missed my flight…and it was the last flight of the day.
Normally I try not to book the last flight of the day, but there are times when you have to book the last flight. Today, I arrived at Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) just in time to literally watch my flight roll onto the runway without me. Now it is important to note that I did everything right to get to my flight not only on time, but early.
Normally the drive from my house to HVN is 45 minutes. Knowing that today was a high traffic day, due to the end of a long holiday weekend that packs the Connecticut Shoreline I added an extra hour to my travel time…what I didn’t count on was that in one stretch of I-95 traveling an approximately 12 mile stretch of highway took me over an hour. From the time started moving again … at a mind blowing 20 miles an hour pace … I started to watch the clock and counting the minutes.
I knew that if I could get to HVN up to 12 minutes before the scheduled flight time I could get through security and catch my flight. HVN is a very small airport and more than once I have arrived at HVN 15 minutes before flight time and made my flight with ease. The reason close calls are possible at HVN is the airport has one airline; US Airways Express and all flights are operated by the 37 passenger Dash-8-100 aircraft. At 10 minutes before scheduled flight time the TSA lets the airline know if anyone is in screening. If no one is in the TSA screening area, the door is closed and the planes taxies toward the runway. Today my flight left early because no one was in screening at the 10 minute mark … in fact I was in the parking lot locking my car and walking towards the terminal (I can’t run due to torn ligaments in my ankle at the moment).
By the time I reached the terminal, a few moments before the scheduled departure time of 6:37pm I was able to watch the aircraft taxi to the runway…and I stood and watched it become airborne a few minutes before its scheduled departure time.
Missing a flight is never fun, in fact it is extremely frustrating … but there is nothing you can do. If you miss a flight the most import thing to remember is this … do not scream at the airline employee across the counter trying to help you out, it’s not their fault.
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that I dislike Interstate 95 even more than I thought I did before…time to sleep, my flight is now at 5:30 to get me where I’m going.