Monday, May 28, 2007

running late -- how to catch a flight

LAX Motion
Originally uploaded by bullish1974.
I haven't solved the mystery of what happened to my alarm on Saturday morning -- whether I turned it off without realizing or never set it correctly in the first place. I used a travel alarm clock that I rarely use because my phone provides a sufficient alarm. For some reason I decided that leaving my phone off and using the travel alarm instead would save me some battery.

Some thoughts re: catching a flight at the last minute:
  1. Ultimately, it's probably bad to have this additional positive reinforcement after showing up at the airport so late. This only increases the likelihood that I will be slow in getting to the airport next time when I figure I can make it. (Though the intentionality of it is questionable, we have certainly done it before).
  2. The extra hour of sleep was probably worth it, since we'd gone to bed only about 5 hours earlier. Saturday was a long session-filled day at ICA 2007, the conference I was attending, and I barely made it through the party USC was hosting from 7-9pm.
  3. 3. Things that undoubtedly helped me make the flight (besides Alex waking me up):
  • online check-in and printing my boarding pass on Friday night
  • having everything packed and ready to go
  • trying to make a Saturday morning 7:15 flight -- any other time would have more traffic in LA
  • having a driver ready to drop me off curbside (and the fact that we're close to the airport)
  • the sense of possibility and urgency that Alex instilled when he dropped me off curbside and explained, "If you're going to make it, you've got to be pushy and make it to the front of the line. Tell people that your flight is boarding and you need to go." The woman checking boarding passes and ID before the security lines told me to cut to the front.
  • not needing to check any bags -- only taking carry-ons
  • my willingness and ability to run -- though dressed for the conference, I wore running shoes (I typically do). The fact that I've been running more lately and improving my speed and capacity undoubtedly helped. I heard an announcement for my flight's final boarding call as I sprinted (as much as possible while wheeling a suitcase behind) through Terminal 5.
I don't recommend making a regular habit of cutting in line, but some of the other aspects certainly helped. I intend to keep my running practiced.

Arex previously blogged some tips on how to get through security checkpoints quickly.

* photo LAX Motion Originally uploaded by bullish1974