How to miss a flight

Back in August, my older sister and her awesome baby boy came to visit for a few days. We had a great time! It was my first time to meet my nephew, and much cuddling ensued. The day they left was a sad one for me, but since I’m a good sister I helped them pack and drove them to the airport. We left the house with lots of time, since it takes a while to get through the airport with an infant.

We got to the airport with over 90 minutes until departure. Great! Plenty of time, right? I helped her get all the stuff out of the car (as best I could, as I was 9 months pregnant at the time. In fact, I think this was the day before my due date!). Suitcase, diaper bag, stroller, car seat, baby, purse….Wait. Where was the purse?? We searched the car, pulling all of my crap out of the trunk. No purse. We searched the diaper bag. Nope. The front seat, the back seat…. You get the idea. What to do? Obviously the purse wasn’t there, so it had to be back at the house. Do we try to go get it and get back in time for the flight? We had about two seconds of indecisiveness, but I quickly realized that no matter what, we had to go back to my parents’ house where they had been staying. And if it turned out the purse wasn’t there, well, we’d end up back there anyway.

We threw all the stuff back in the car (except for the baby, who we placed safely and securely in his car seat), jumped in, and took off. Adding to the excitement—it was rush hour. I immediately called my parents’ house, hoping someone was there, while my sister looked for flights in case we didn’t make it back to the airport in time. I got my step-dad on the phone, and he looked all over the house for the purse, finally finding it near the baby changing table. Hooray! Now if we could only get there to retrieve it and get back to the airport in time….

Enter the Home Warrior. I called him and told him what was going on, and he said, “Why don’t I go get the purse and meet you? That way you don’t have to go all the way back to your parents’ house.” What a guy. So that’s what we did, meeting him in the parking lot to do the hand-off before we sped back towards the airport.

At this point it was all dependent on traffic. We had approximately 45 minutes until the flight left, and were 15 minutes away, without traffic. Amazingly, shockingly, we managed to hit only green lights and made it back to the airport in twenty minutes. This gave my sister 25 minutes to get her ticket, get through security, and get to her gate. I dropped her off and went to park, just in case they didn’t make it. I waddled as quickly as I could, hoping they would make it but also hoping for one more hug from my nephew. Inside, I scanned the Southwest line and the security line and didn’t see them. I looked further, and saw them on the other side of security. Good news so far! With 15 minutes until departure time, I sat on a bench to wait. Ten minutes later I got a text from my sister—they were on the flight. Wow. So even though by all accounts they should have missed that flight, they made it on five minutes before it left. Whew!

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Make sure you don’t leave stuff at home? Well, duh. Maybe it’s to be prepared for anything? Think fast on your feet? Either way, I’m glad they made their flight. And on my next trip I will definitely do one last scan to make sure I have all of my stuff.

Readers, have you ever come super close to missing a flight?


  1. i’ve only come close to missing connections due to delays. but what i thought this post was going to be about was how to properly miss a flight (is there such a thing?) and maybe get some perks out of it. haha. apparently, no such tricks exist.

  2. I once woke up at the same time my flight was suppose to depart. I live 20 minutes from the airport with no traffic. Of course it was 745am! Thank god I live in the city and traffic is bad coming into the city, not going out of it, towards the airport. I looked online. My flight 30 minutes delayed (thank you OLD continental!) I rushed to the car with my partner, I drove 90 the whole way there, Got to security, they let me jumped the line and go to the boarding gate just as there were about to close the boarding gate! I made it from waking up in my house to the airport (12 miles) and through security in less than 30 minutes!

    My saving grace: A delay and I was 100% packed!

  3. I almost my SFO-DFW VA flight once. The best part is that I was probably a 100 yards away from the boarding area but was busy enjoying a delicious cheeseburger and realized at the very last moment that the PA was announcing the final boarding call for my flight. Happily I managed to finish the remnants of my burger and board before the doors closed.

  4. My wife took too long eating at HKG and thought we had plenty of time to go from the main food court right after security to our flight. Turns out our flight was at Gate 70 or 100 something. It takes a 10 minute trip on the train and a 5 minute jog. Only had a minute or two to spare.

    Also, once our international flight was delayed by two hours. Had to run for about 10 minutes through three terminals at IAD for our connecting flight to JFK. The plane door close right behind us. We didn’t even have boarding passes for some reason.

  5. This is another reason to travel lightly. With less stuff there is a lower possibility of leaving it behind. I like to stuff everything into my carry on(including my purse) and take one bag through the airport.

    Baby and accessories can only add to the confusion. Another reason to kepp it simple with the personal stuff.

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