‘A Late Bloomer’
My good friend likes to get to the airport at least five hours before her flight — okay, I’m exaggerating. Maybe just two. But when she visits me, she gets super irritated if I drop her off “late” — which means giving her less than two hours to “acclimate.” “That’s just my nature,” she has told me whenever I’ve mocked her. “I get nervous when I am running late to anything.”
That explains why she and I have never flown together, despite ending up in the same destination many times. I’m chronically late, or at least I used to be. I used to miss a flight at least once a year, and often would run to my gate schlepping my carry-on, backpack, and the bag I’d planned to check because I didn’t get to the airport in time to do curbside bag check.
Looking back, my friend is probably correct — that was awfully stressful. Some people take longer to learn. With TSA PreCheck, I still see no need to get to the airport too early, unless it is an unfamiliar place. Now I have found my sweet spot — 30 minutes to an hour before boarding begins — usually. Most of the time, however, I am still packing two hours before my flight, so getting there that early is really not possible. Obviously, I’m a late bloomer.
— Curt Wagner, Associate Editor