Building ease into a trip

1 August 2012

I’m writing this from the Denver airport, on my way from St. Louis to Portland. When I booked this trip, I had a choice of a Denver-to-Portland flight that would mean a 2.75-hour layover or one with a one-hour layover. I purposely chose the longer layover so I wouldn’t stress about missing my flight if my outbound flight were delayed.

Sure enough, my outbound flight was delayed for a half hour. The couple who happened to be sitting next to me on the flight to Denver were booked on the earlier flight to Portland and were worried about missing their flight. They were also incredulous that I’d booked the later flight.

Glass of red wine

Wine, rather than stress

Sitting on that flight, I thought about how glad I was that I didn’t have to worry about missing my flight or making a mad run for my plane. Instead, I enjoyed a fairly decent pizza and a fairly nice glass of wine in an airport restaurant. And now I’m sitting at the gate blogging.

The couple next to me rushed off the plane. (The flight attendant asked people to let those trying to make connecting flights get off first, though not everyone seemed to cooperate.) When I got off the plane, I noticed that the gate for the earlier Portland flight was just across the concourse from the gate we landed in. So I was glad to see that my row partners made their flight.

But you know what? I was also glad I’d booked the later flight. I’d rather have less stress and more waiting than stress and a big rush. Maybe that’s just me. I also like to get to the airport early.

How about you? Would you have gone for the shorter or longer layover?

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I probably would have gone for the shorter layover, but your decision makes a lot of sense. An hour isn’t a long enough break to enjoy a meal or actually get anything done, but you managed to do both in your longer layover. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever have to make this type of choice.

Janet Barclay 07/14/2013 03:18 PM

Travel can be stressful. Whatever I can do to make it less so, I do. If given the choice for a longer layover to avoid having to rush or compensating for any possible delays, I will always opt for the longer layover. Airports are fun places to people watch, read, think, and plan. I’m OK with a bit of extra waiting.

Linda Samuels 07/16/2013 06:27 PM

Linda, you and I are cut of the same cloth! I agree completely. I also like to get to airports early and relax at the gate, rather than stressing out in the security line.

Thanks, Linda and Janet, for your comments!

Janine Adams 07/16/2013 06:32 PM

Great advice! When traveling through Denver, I like a longer layover so I can, without much stress, enjoy a glass of wine and some herbed fries at Jimmy’s Bistro. In general, I prefer longer layovers, but I don’t like to arrive too early for a flight.

Something I did for the first time recently while waiting on a delayed flight (I was already onboard, plane sitting on the tarmac): I started Tweeting with the airline about the delay and the potential for missing my connection in Chicago. The response was almost immediate, and, after a few exchanges, the airline was on the case. I did run fast and far to make my connection, only to find a first-class seat awaiting me, thanks to the friendly folks on the other end of Twitter.

Mark 07/17/2013 03:37 PM

Mark, I’m pretty sure the glass of wine pictured above was being enjoyed at Jimmy’s Bistro.

Thank you for sharing your Twitter success story! You’re brilliant. How wonderful they bumped you to first class for your trouble. I love Twitter.

Janine Adams 07/17/2013 03:58 PM

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Janine Adams

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