Even Travel Bloggers Miss Flights

My brother recently asked me, “Are you ever going to blog about that time that you missed your flight to Austin last year?”

“Why would I ever write about that?” I asked.

“To show the world that even travel blogger miss flights!” was his response.

I definitely wasn’t ready to write about this for awhile, but I think I’ve finally come to terms with the embarrassing truth: it’s true – I missed a flight to Austin last year… while sitting at the gate in the airport.


There goes my flight… without me.

I recall the gate agent’s announcement that they were about to start the boarding process, but the next thing I knew the screen at the gate said “Boise.”  Was I scatterbrained because I was running late for the flight?  Was I a little tipsy from a pre-flight cocktail?  Was I wearing headphones?  The answer to all of those questions is “no.”  I just flat out missed the flight.

Okay, let me explain.  I was totally consumed by a really good book.  But really, I think the thing that got me was that the plane was a lot smaller than the ones that I normally go on, so the boarding process was much faster than normal.  Seriously, the time it took between pre-boarding the “final call” (if there even was one) couldn’t have been more than five minutes.  Like I said, I was AT THE GATE without headphones on – I’d seriously like to think that if they called my name for final boarding I would have heard it.

Anyway, missing my flight wasn’t the end of the world.  Yeah, I cried a lot to the United customer services rep, and he assured me that people miss flights “all the time.”  I somehow said between sniffles, “But WHY are people missing flights all the time?  Do you not call out their names?”  I don’t remember how he responded, but luckily there was another United flight to Austin four hours later, so I just arrived extremely fashionably late to my friend’s bachelorette party.

So, what have I learned from the missed flight fiasco?  If the terminal is busy or pretty noisy:

  • Don’t wear headphones and listen to loud music.  Although I was headphones-free when I missed my flight, the number one question everyone asked me was if I was listening to music.
  • Notice how big your gate area is.  The smaller it is, the fewer people on the flight.  The fewer people on the flight, the faster the boarding time.
  • If possible, sit/stand facing the gate agent.

Have an embarrassing travel story that you’re dying to share?  Send them my way.  If I get any really juicy ones, I’ll share them on the blog… anonymously, of course.

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