"Once upon a time, I left what dignity I had left at the airport security line. When faced with nearly missing my flight to Tokyo, I quickly scooped up my belongings off the conveyor belt and made a run for it... barefoot... through the airport... and then onto the plane.
It wasn't the greatest travel moment of my life. My best friend (already on board) not so affectionately referred to my stumbling on to the flight as the 'hot mess express.' I felt that at any moment Kanye West was going to interrupt our flight instructions to let people know that I performed the greatest entrance of all time.
After we all had a good laugh, I vowed to never return to this airport again to face the workers who were now witnesses to the fact that if I ever had to run for my life, well, it might not go well for me."
Missing a flight is the worst. The stress and adrenaline alone can be overwhelming. Take a breath. Think clearly AND Consider the follow tips:
1. You've overslept. Now what:
Quickly transfer what you can into a carry-on bag. It is much faster to get through the airport with just a carry-on because you don't have to deal with the check-in counter (even the Priority check-in line can be long at major airports). Of course, this only works for domestic flights. Most international flights require check-in any way to clear your passport.
2. Wear slip on shoes.
Shoe strings will tie you up after security (pun intended). Wear slip ons like in this photo, and make sure the shoes have a back. The back of the heel support will help you in case you do in fact need to run.
3. Next, call an uber or a cab.
You don't have time to fuss with parking your car at the airport. It is much faster to call a driver. Plus, it gives you time in the car to collect your thoughts.
4. While on the drive, get on the phone with your local airline.
Don't call the number on your ticket. Try to call the reservations desk in the local airport and speak to the gate agent. This is important! Let them know you might miss your flight and see what they can do. Find out what your options are in terms of changing flights or having the gate held. If in fact you do miss your flight, this initial communication with the airline will help your case.
5. THAT BAG LIFE:
Also, while on the drive, check and double check your carry-on to insure that nothing in your bag will get you flagged in security. Have your ID handy. Take off any extra layers you don't need so you are ready to walk swiftly. Lastly, make sure you are already checked in for your flight and have that barcode ready to roll.
6. BREEZE THROUGH SECURITY:
Head straight to the security line. For future use: If you are a frequent flyer, then apply for TSA pre-check. If your reward status with your airline is at the top the charts, then you often get TSA pre-check anyway or you at least have access to the priority line. All of these options being available to you make a HUGE difference in terms of making it quickly through the security line. If you have none of these perks, then speak to the nearest TSA agent and ask to be pumped to the front. Be nice, and make the best "pure desperation" eyes that you can.
7. Be ready.
While standing in line, take your laptop out of your bag and your small liquids that are presumably already in a small clear bag. Many passengers are slow to the punch in terms of getting their things organized on the conveyor belts. Having your items ready to go allows you to sneak ahead if the opportunity presents itself.
8. KIND STRANGERS:
If people are in front of you, ask to move ahead in line. It is rare to find travelers that won't help you. Put those "pure desperation" eyes you practiced earlier to good use.
9. RUN. TRAVELLER. RUN.
You've made it through the line, if you can, call your airline again and ask them to hold the gate. And if all else fails, throw your shoes back on (or don't), grab you carry-on, and make a RUN FOR IT.
10. FLAT TIRE RULE:
Many airlines have the flat-tire rule (or two hour rule), meaning if you arrive within two hours of your flight, they will put you on standby for the next outbound trip. Plus, you have already been in communication with your airline so you have a greater chance of them working with you if you do in fact miss your flight. Stay in communication with your airline.
Best of Luck.
MY AIRPORT VIBES:
COMFY LEGGINGS: HERE
READ MORE: CONNECTING FLIGHTS AND HOW NOT TO MISS THEM