I was going through old posts and realized that on “Delta Wants Me To Rebook For A Later Flight Because I’m One Minute Late,” I never said why I got there only 44 minutes before departure instead of 45. So here it is: the car service was 20 minutes late, and we hit traffic. Cheers.


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  1. sleze69 says:

    Waaaaa! You are recommended to arrive 2 hours before the flight. If you miss a flight, why are you even entitled to a rebook?

    I have never, EVER missed a flight because I am OCD about getting to the airport 2 hours early.

  2. humphrmi says:

    @sleze69: Yeah, me too, I used to love getting to the airport 20 minutes before my flight – that was before 2001. Now, I got club memberships, I just camp out there 2 hours before and never miss a flight.

  3. stardeo says:

    One holiday my brother and I were flying from to my parents. We live about 70 miles from the major airport. So I scheduled a shuttle to take us there. I booked the shuttle to pick us up 4 hours before the flight. A normal drive to the airport takes around an hour-and-a-half if you don’t break the speed limit. The shuttle arrived around an hour-and-a-half after it was supposed to pick us up. I would have been pretty pissed had we missed the flight. Especially if we were off by one minute.

    Some of us plan this; we too are OCD about getting to the airport on time. Some other comment-makers are just jerks. Waaaaa!

  4. Amelie says:

    @sleze69: Hopefully your next flight will be one that ends up stuck at the gate or on the tarmac for five hours.

  5. Amelie says:

    Since the OP was flying out of a New York City airport, all bets about getting there in a timely fashion are off. Most of the time it takes 40 minutes to get to Newark, but a traffic problem can make it take two hours.

  6. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    I’m convinced that the whole “2 hours prior” suggestion is a vast conspiracy by airports to force you to buy their $3 gum and overpriced Egg McMuffins.

  7. descend says:

    Doesn’t NYC have public transportation to the airport?

  8. descend says:


    Eh, if someone can’t go two hours without eating, they deserve to pay inflated prices.

  9. qitaana says:

    @descend: Tell that to a diabetic, or others with conditions that require eating within rather narrow time windows.

  10. ShadowFalls says:


    Regardless of all you people who say: “You should arrive 2 hours early before your flight.” You should not have to. You should be able to arrive at the airport 30 minutes early, be checked in and taken care of within 15 minutes, and start boarding.

    This is an issue of the now screwed up airline industry. So few enjoy flying anymore, the hassles are not worth it.

  11. Buran says:

    @sleze69: Because that’s for INTERNATIONAL flights. And because the jerk who was that much of a hardass on the guy was, well, a jerk.

  12. Buran says:

    @humphrmi: We should not have to arrive earlier that much later. Technology has vastly improved since six years ago. We should be able to get there with even LESS time remaining.

    But no, airlines who keep notes on LEGAL PADS come up with BS rules because they want to be cheap … and we lap it up.

  13. JKinNYC says:

    @descend: Yup. There’s no excuse getting to Newark or JFK. there’s direct train access to both. LaGuardia has a bus running to it, but that’s a joke. You gotta take a cab to LaGuardia.

    @ShadowFalls: Read a little about statistical queuing theory. While 2 hours is excessive, you can’t move large groups of people that quickly.

  14. Buran says:

    @ShadowFalls: “now” screwed up? It’s been like that for a long time, sadly.

  15. redkamel says:

    I hate showing up two hours early cause then I have to sit in a hard plastic chair for an hour and a half before I get on the plane another 2-6. I Its like when they put you in the police cell before moving you to county.

  16. JKinNYC says:

    @Buran: It’s not a technology issue. It’s simple moving us slow fat Americans around in an orderly fashion. You have to study the bottlenecks in the process, and unfortunately, in this case, technology alone isn’t going to solve for stupid employees and passengers, crowded buildings, poorly designed terminals and so on.

    If you could blow the whole system including facilities up and start from scratch, maybe.

  17. azntg says:

    @descend: Yeah, they’re called taxis. They are the best hope of getting to the airport at a reasonable time.

    For LaGuardia, you’re really stuck with local buses only. Either the M60 or a very small handful of the Queens buses. Think they’ll take you to LGA fast? Only if you live in Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst maybe *shrug*.

    For JFK, you have the local B15 and a handful of the local Queens buses. There’s also the short, but somewhat expensive AirTrain, where you have to transfer again to the subway or the LIRR. Getting to the airports with mass transit looks fun, doen’t it?

    I don’t know about you, but Newark is reasonably deep in NEW JERSEY, dunno why people call it New York.

  18. JKinNYC says:

    @Buran: And even before 9/11. It’s more volume than anything.

  19. JKinNYC says:

    @azntg: The air train is $5, plus the subway fare. A cab is way more expensive than that. The train is far better at getting to JFK.

    Newark USED to be the only large airport serving NYC, years ago. It’s in the NY Metro area.

  20. JustAGuy2 says:


    From midtown, Newark is 60 minutes away, door to door, and JFK about the same, all by public transport. Total of about $16 to Newark, $7-12 to JFK. Laguardia is about an hour as well (N to Astoria, car from there), and about $12.

  21. Buran says:

    @JKinNYC: There’ve been zillions of studies done already and it’s only getting worse, not better. We don’t need any damn studies. We need actual changes.

  22. JKinNYC says:

    @Buran: You misunderstand me. I meant YOU personally, not the person who needs to make the changes. They already know that infrastructure changes are a pain in the ass, exceptionally expensive, and extremely slow.

    There is NO technological solution short of beaming people around. Computers can’t make large packs of people move faster.

  23. mantari says:

    Ben, I think you should have dropped it while you were ahead.

  24. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Newark rocks!

    Much easier to get in and out of than JFK or LaGuardia any time of the day or night.

  25. JKinNYC says:

    @Me: Newark is the easiest to get to. Getting back can suck royally (if you miss the NJ Transit train at an off peak time that is). But it all depends on where in NY you live.

  26. Major-General says:

    @sleze69: Well, its good to know you have that much time to waste.

    As for my neck of the woods, I wish the mass transit was reliable enough to use for an airport other than Burbank or LAX.

  27. Buran says:

    @JKinNYC: Then misunderstand this: you’re a judgmental asshole with your ridiculous predjudicial assumptions and misguided blame. And I don’t care what you think of me now, you lost respect the moment you decided to make it a personal attack.

  28. glass says:

    liek zomg! you poor thing you!

    right. once, in boston, i got to the airport at midnight for a 4am flight, because i just DID NOT want to wake up that early in the morning and risk running late (my snooze button gets more action than lindsay lohan).

    be an adult.

  29. glass says:


    “Regardless of all you people who say: “You should arrive 2 hours early before your flight.” You should not have to. You should be able to arrive at the airport 30 minutes early, be checked in and taken care of within 15 minutes, and start boarding.”

    Yeah buddy, and war is over (if you want it).

  30. sleze69 says:

    @zouxou: Actually, I have been on flights like that. That is why I always have a book with me and I pee before I get on the plane.

    Also, I try to avoid connections and fly direct. I also avoid checking bags (when possible) so prevent the airline from losing them. And all this while flying out of Philadelphia.

  31. JustAGuy2 says:


    Here’s a few things that we could do tomorrow to ease the process, have essentially zero impact on security, and lower the irritation level as well:

    1. shoes stay on
    2. coats stay on
    3. as many liquids as you want
    4. no ID check

    Would cut down those security lines by a lot, right there.

    If you’re not checking luggage, you could arrive 15 minutes before your flight and be golden.

  32. JKinNYC says:

    @Buran: Re-read what I wrote. I was explaining to you how you could understand why technology hasn’t made it better. If you took me saying that you personally haven’t done the work to study people movement in airports (which unless you are employed doing so, you haven’t) as an affront so be it. If you have done that work, my apologies.

    As someone who has done such studies, I’m telling you, technology doesn’t fix infrastructure.

    @JustAGuy2: I understand what you are saying there, but the hour-before domestic flights predates all that crap. And frankly, an ID check is ok by me.

  33. swalve says:

    @azntg: Reasonably deep? It’s 7 miles from Manhattan.

    What kills me about the attitude here is that you are the same people who, when something bad happens, complain that the government hasn’t done enough to protect us.

    The real problem is that people are generally too egotistical- “MY plane is the only one, and I’M the only one on it, and why am I being put through all of this and it’s not MY fault the Towncar was late.”

  34. biblio26 says:

    @JKinNYC: Have you lived in the New York area? NJ Transit is ALWAYS late and if you take the subway to JFK, you have to take a shuttle after that. I don’t think that public transportation can be a guaranteed on time method at all.

  35. tadowguy says:

    You sound like a guy I know at work. He’s 15 minutes late every day, but every day there’s a new reason: dropping kids off, traffic, train in the crossing, spilled coffee on his shirt, had to drop off a movie at blockbuster, alarm clock didn’t go off, had to wait for hot water for the shower, etc etc.

    The fundamental reason is that he didn’t get up early enough.

    Also, I live 1 hour from DIA (now called DEN). I leave my hour 3-3.5 hours early to get there on time. During last year’s blizzard travel debacle, I left 5 hours early.

  36. JKinNYC says:

    @biblio26: Look at my screenname. I live here. I have lived here. For more than 30 years. I ride NJ transit all the time. I ride NJ transit to the Airport frequently.

    And obviously you haven’;t been to JFK recently, as that shuttle was discontinued well over a year ago (it might be two now). Get right of the E at Jamaica or A at the airport stop and right on the airtrain.

    Sounds like you aren’t that familiar with it.