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What’s your best “I can’t believe that I made that flight” story?

What’s your best “I can’t believe that I made that flight” story?

Old Apr 14, 19, 10:31 am
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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What’s your best “I can’t believe that I made that flight” story?

Yesterday everything went wrong on my trip to the airport:

1. The subway was late.
2. Then the subway switched to stopping at every station.
3. With those problems, I jumped off the subway and figured that I’d hail a ride.
4. But there was heavy traffic where I got off the subway, and it took 35 minutes to get a ride.
5. Then the car got stuck behind a slow-moving bus.
6. Then traffic on the highway came to a standstill.
7. At the airport, I got randomly selected for additional screening.
8. At the airport, I went to the gate on my boarding pass, but the flight had been moved: to a different terminal, accessible by bus (unless I wanted to go through security again).
9. I had to wait for the bus and deal with slow-moving passengers.

But, believe it or not, I arrived at the gate right as my group was boarding.

So a 30-minute trip to the airport turned into an 80 minute trip and everything went wrong, but I still made it.

Anyone else have a good “I shouldn’t have made that flight but I did” story?
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:42 am
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Location: Cambridge
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I once grossly overslept, made it to the ground-side check-in just 25 min before departure and the agent was reluctant to even issue me a BP.

I ran through the terminal, saw the plane still at the gate.... but the GA said the flight was closed.

I sat down to catch my breath and to think about rebooking options, but the GA calls me over again. It turns out the flight was closed, but they were still waiting on the co-pilot to get onboard. The GA took pity on me and re-opened the flight just to let me on.

I walked down the jetway and the plane pushed back basically as soon as I had buckled in - the co-pilot must have arrived just behind me.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by Plato90s View Post
It turns out the flight was closed, but they were still waiting on the co-pilot to get onboard.
I've had that and they still didn't let me on. Probably for the best as I ended up with violent food poisoning that night and it would've been very uncomfortable had I made the flight.

My closest call was probably walking out of my office at 40th & Lex in Manhattan at 12:02p and making the 12:30p DL Shuttle to DCA. I did not have a ticket booked when I left the office, figuring I'd either get DL at the bottom of the hour or US at the top, depending on traffic through the tunnel. We were making good time on the BQE so I picked DL and made it. I was the last passenger on board and they closed the door behind me. My colleague did not make the flight, caught up in TSA no fly list name mismatch hell. He ended up an hour behind.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:08 pm
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boulder
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I was flying ATL-EWR-BOM.

First day, storms cancel a flight (forget which) and I get rebooked for the next day.

Second day, more storms cause me to get rerouted ATL-ORD-EWR-BOM. Then, naturally, yet more storms in ORD delay my ORD-EWR flight.

Result: me running through EWR and dashing down the jetway right before the door closed. Remarkably my SWU cleared.

Somehow, despite two ground stops, I managed to make it to Mumbai that day.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:19 pm
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: IST/SEA
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A few years ago, I had a quick overnight in DPS on the way from DIL to KUL. My hotel was only 10km from the airport, so I figured that if I left the hotel 2 hours prior to departure, I'd be able to meet the 1 hour prior checkin deadline with plenty of time to spare. I had forgotten my wallet in DIL, so I only could pay for things electronically - fortunately, Uber worked in Bali and I had a free night certificate for the hotel, so I didn't need any cash.

When I called an Uber 2 hours prior, the app told me the car was 10 mins away. 40 mins later, the car was now "only" 5 mins away. The hotel front desk told me that rush hour traffic was very bad in that area, and it could take an hour plus to get to the airport, even though it was only 10km away. At this point, I'm starting to panic a little bit because I had no way to pay for my flight to be rebooked if I were to miss it.

One of the hotel drivers offers to drive me to the airport on a motorbike for a few USD - he tells me that it's much faster than car because he can "drive through all the traffic." I didn't have the few dollars, but after a few mins of asking random tourists if they would trade cash for a Paypal payment, I had my money. At this point, the checkin deadline was less than 5 mins away, so feeling like I had run out of options, I hopped on the motorbike. The next 20 mins were absolutely terrifying - sitting on a motorbike with my backpack on my back, carryon suitcase balanced on top of my head with one hand, holding on for dear life with the other as we weaved through 10km of gridlock.

DPS has a customs check between the curb and the checkin counters, so by the time I get to checkin, I've missed the cutoff by 25 mins and my flight is already boarding. There is one MH employee at the counter, and an Aussie tourist tearfully talking to her travel agent about the cost of rebooking the flight she had missed. I ran up to the counter and tried to check in. The agent typed for what felt like an eternity (although realistically, maybe 2-3 mins max). As he printed and handed a boarding pass to me, he said to me, "You're very lucky that you did online checkin. I can reprint your boarding pass now, but I wouldn't have been able to check you in. You should come earlier to the airport next time. You have 10 mins to get to the gate. I would recommend you run."

I ran. Begged my way to the front of the line for both immigration and security, and got to an almost deserted gate 15 mins prior to departure. The door closed behind me.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:27 pm
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Australia
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I fell asleep in the lounge at Singapore. I woke up and legged it down to the gate that was luckily very near the lounge. I was the last on the plane and they closed the door behind me.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:36 pm
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: PDX
Programs: AS DL
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Had a job interview that ran late. Had another one the next day in another city. I was booked on the last flight of the day. I banged on the door at the gate and they opened it as well as re-opened the plane's door. I got the job at the second city, which I wouldn't have happened if I missed the plane because the company had fixed interview dates and mine was the last one.

Without overstating it, the gate agent's opening the door changed my life.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:45 pm
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC
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Flying out of JFK and there was a massive accident on the Van Wyck -- car service was traveling inches per hour. Resigned to missing the flight , but did not as pilot was stuck in a transport van further behind.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:59 pm
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SoCal
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 91

I’ve got two:

1) Wife and I got bumped off of MUC-JFK-LAX on to MUC-YYZ-LAX, apparently with a tight connection. Arrive at YYZ international terminal that didn’t have customs - might have been when the terminal was new. We had to be bussed to another terminal to get our bags and go through Canadian customs and of course bags were slow to arrive. Cleared Canadian Customs, ran to US pre-clearance scribbling something illegible on the forms, ran to the gate to find ... nobody there, no plane, nothing. Flight had been moved to another, fortunately nearby gate. Hustled over, boarded last and collapsed.

2) FWA-ORD-LAX delayed getting out of FWA. Arrived at one of F Gates at ORD where you deplane out on the tarmac - maybe F9 or F11. Had to wait for my roll aboard to be offloaded (CRJ200). I found out that it is possible to make it from out on the tarmac by F gates to C20-something in 11 minutes. Last one to board as the GA was preparing to close the door. Had the following conversation as I boarded:
GA: “You should have been here 20 minutes ago”
Me: “You (United) should have got me here on time”

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Old Apr 14, 19, 6:58 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Easily Beirut-Istanbul-Tehran...

Background: I'm in Beirut with a buddy from college. One of our other friends is in Greece, scheduled to fly to Iceland, unknown routing. He misses his flight out of Athens, texts us and says there's a flight to Beirut landing around 1 or 2am, should he just come. We say of course. Through a friend from Paris, I was introduced to a Syrian girl whose entire family has relocated to Beirut due to the war. They'd rented out a beach club for some sort of event and everyone gets ANNIHILATED. The two of us pile in her car with her afterwards to follow her brother to a club. At some point along they way they get lost and she runs into her brothers car (don't worry, we DID tell her she shouldn't be driving, but this fell on deaf ears). Anyway, we get to the club BO18, which is in some sort of old bomb shelter and continue drinking heavily. Our friend lands at BEY, we tell him we're staying at Le Grey, he takes a cab over, tells them he wants a room and drops his bags without ever going up to the room and heads to meet us at BO18. He goes from sober to BLACKOUT drunk in about 45 minutes. Sometime after 3am he tells me he lost several thousands dollars in hard currency that he had in his pocket and dropped on the floor. I asked him WHY he would carry that much cash, his response "I didn't want to feel poor." At this point he gave me his phone and wallet because he slurred that he couldn't be trusted to hold onto them. We get home after dawn, etc...the next afternoon he calls my room telling he is screwed because his phone, wallet, etc...are gone. I remind him he gave them to me for safe keeping, I have them and I'm going back to sleep.

The day in question: The three of us had been drinking all day at a beach club, but being as me and my buddy had an early flight to IST connecting to Tehran, not the most normal destination for Americans, we said we were going to take it easy. The friend who came in from Athens was hoping to get us to miss our flight and stay in Beirut. He goaded us into going to Skybar "we'll just have a few, we won't stay out late!" You know how that goes. Bottle service, out of control through 5am, etc...after falling for the old "just a few drinks" lie, my buddy and I got back to the hotel and bought into another lie. We figured since we had to go to leave for the airport around 730am and it was already after 5, that there was no point in sleeping, so we told ourselves "we won't sleep, we'll just rest our eyes." Of course, we slept. I woke up less than an hour before our flight was due to takeoff and FREAKED OUT. Anyone who has been to BEY knows what an absolute horrorshow that airport is. To this day I have NO IDEA how we made it on that plane, we were still VERY intoxicated but the driver pulled some F1 moves and we got to BEY, checked in, through security and on the plane like 2 minutes before the doors closed, which was handy because if we missed that connection we were not going to make it to Iran. We passed out on the flight to IST and were in rough shape waiting for the connection. Buddy was puking in the bathroom etc...finally we land in Iran dying of hangover and in very rough shape, the terminal was sweltering and when they saw American passports they naturally pulled us aside for additional questioning. I was very, very happy to get to my lousy hotel bed that night and sleep.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:18 pm
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: BNA (Nashville)
Programs: HH Gold,
Posts: 4,539
We were in Isle Royale National Park and waiting on a float plane to take us to Hancock MI. We had a flight at 11:00 AM from Hancock to ORD on United.

The front desk at the National Park Lodge tells us the plane is not leaving Hancock until the fog lifts. It finally lifts and shows up at 10:30. About 2.5 hours late.

There is is no cell phone service on the island, but the pilot of the float plane can communicate with someone in Hancock. He has them call his buddy who runs the only taxi service in town.

We land in the river in Hancock at 11. Now that I have cell service I can see the United flight is delayed. We all check in online. This old guy in an old Buick is waiting to take us the 5 miles to Hancock airport. He never gets over 35 mph. We know there is no chance but we keep going. We get to the tiny airport and see the United plane still there. He drops us off up front, it’s too late to check bags, but we can gate check them. Get the bags through TSA by dumping all out all out leftover liquor in bins. We get through the tiny security area right as they start boarding the plane. We take off 5 minutes later at 11:30 in total shock that we made it.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 9:10 pm
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There was a fire on the CTA at Belmont. Rainy Friday afternoon. I was headed to AMS.

We were thrown off the L at Damen with the standard “buses are waiting.” Not. No cabs to be had either. Pretty much chaos.

I ran down to Ashland. Still no cabs. I was on the corner almost giving up when an occupied cab pulled up and the pax popped the door open and said “going to ORD?”

I hopped in, knowing the Kennedy was also trashed but it was my last chance.

I got to ORD at like takeoff minus 15. No line at security and I got to a gate that was empty but the door was open.

I heard “Mr. Milepig? We’ve been waiting for you.” I boarded looking like a soaked wrinkled mess, and off we went.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 9:25 pm
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Many years ago snow one Boxing Day morning, combined with freezing temperatures and aircraft being parked up for > 24 hours, meant de-icing took so long at EDI our connection to Air Canada at LHR was compromised. The transit desk said good news and bad news. Bad news means run and don't stop for duty free. Good news was upgrade to upstairs on B747. Almost carried onto plane by gate staff desperate to get the flight away.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:49 pm
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Denver
Programs: AS, AA, Hilton, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 1,372
Cab ride from Hoboken to JFK on some three day weekend, took 2.5 hours to get there. Cut the line at security as precheck was closed, ran through the terminal with all my belongings (2 computers, coat, belt, liquid bag) was one of the last people onto the jet-bridge.

In Tokyo, at the CX lounge as I wanted to compare to the JAL lounge. Thought my flight was delayed 20 minutes, so sitting eating dan dan noodles and doing a whiskey tasting. Realize my flight is not delayed, and is in fact on the other side of the terminal, with about 15 minutes until departure. The map of the airport shows it's a 15 minute walk from where I am to the gate. Best part, my luggage is in a locker in the JAL lounge, which is half way between myself and the gate. I tell my travel companion to run to the gate and try to hold the gate open. I hear the intercom as I am sprinting to the JAL lounge paging my companion and myself's name. "Final Call". I'm sprinting the last half of the terminal carrying two rollaboards, and two backpacks. Get to the gate, and forget that I have 'SSSS' on my boarding pass, then I get a full inspection from security officers as I am dripping sweat, holding two backpacks, one which contained some prescription drugs I am not too sure the Japanese officials would be too happy for anyone to have, and two rollaboards. I kindly hand the backpack to my companion, no questions asked, as is tradition in Japan. Get all my stuff okayed, jog down the jetbridge to an FA waiting at the door, "there you are finally, we almost left without you" as she closed the door behind me, not even three steps onto the plane. Sit in my seat sweating, but very reluctant to make the flight back home.
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Last edited by safari ari; Apr 14, 19 at 10:59 pm
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:02 pm
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I’ve probably got at least four others, but this one from last summer will do for tonight

evening thunderstorms at DCA meant lots of late arrivals, and lots of morning departures delayed for crew rest ... our original itinerary was an 0700 DCA-ATL-SEA departure with a ~55-min layover ... we were automagically rebooked onto the 0600 that was actually leaving at 0718; of course this also involved our seats being moved from Row 12 on a 738 to Row 33 on a 320, and of course DL kept us on the original connecting flight home

we landed to the west at ATL, back-taxied to our arrival gate at the far end of the F concourse, and blocked in 23 minutes before scheduled departure from the end of the A concourse ... we were very glad that our seats in Row 16 hadn’t been given away when we approached the gate at ~T-5
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