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Oh man, I cut it close the other day. On an evening flight from Boston to Los Angeles, I made it to my flight just in time! I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being cool as a cucumber, and 10 being my dad (stressed even though we leave 3 hours early for the airport), I’m usually a 2 or 3. I’m not too stressed. I always make sure I have enough time to get to the airport, and if I’m running a little late, well, it’ll all be ok.
Until it isn’t…
(SEE ALSO: HELP! I’m wasting DAYS of my life in airports)
(SEE ALSO: This is why I just sprinted through the airport for the first time)
Boston and the MBTA
Boston’s transit system isn’t…the best. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city! The airport is close, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy, and there’s so much history and culture. But their transit system? It could use a little work.
Luckily, they are working on it a lot! The Green Line is expanding, the Silver Line was just recently extended, and the Red Line is getting new cars! There’s two main ways to get to Boston Logan International on the public transit system. First, you can take the Blue Line to the Airport stop in East Boston, and then hop a shuttle to the airport. Alternatively, the Silver Line runs from South Station in Downtown Boston to the airport. I’ve been a regular on the Silver Line ever since I started traveling.
The thing about the Silver Line is, well, it’s not exactly a “Line”. Most of the other MBTA lines, Blue, Orange, Red (Boston sure does love to color…) are legitimate light rail. The Green Line is kind of a trolley, trying desperately to be a light rail. The Silver Line is just a bus. It has a dedicated track for a few stops, but then it’s a bus, and it just runs on the roads. That’s it.
Since it’s a bus, it’s prone to a few more issues…
ALWAYS Leave a Little Extra Time
My bus broke down! You heard right, it just,,,wouldn’t moved. We literally rolled to a stop at Terminal B.
Luckily for me, I was very close to my terminal. I just walked into the airport at Terminal B and made my way over to Terminal C, ready to use my Priority Pass for a quick dinner before my flight.
Then guess what happened? My Alaska Airlines boarding pass didn’t have my TSA PreCheck number on it! Oh no, I thought, as I jogged over to security. I must have forgotten to add my Known Traveler Number in my Mileage Plan account. Security took me a few extra minutes than I’m used to, and I made it to my gate just before it closed!
(SEE ALSO: “Dan, I think I’m going to miss my flight!“)
This is just one crazy example of what could go wrong! While I’m certainly not a pessimist, it’s ok to plan for the worst sometimes. I’ve heard stories of people getting a flat tire on the way to the airport, their cab/Lyft/Uber driver took a wrong turn, excruciatingly long TSA security lines, it could be anything!
Both the gate agent and the flight attendant informed me that they almost left me behind!
For the best time to arrive at the airport, check with your airline. Generally speaking, you’ll be safe if you arrive an hour and a half early for domestic flights, and add another hour for international departures. Certain airlines and airports have other guidelines. Always check!
So…what’s your close call story? Did you forget something at the house and have to turnaround? Hopefully it wasn’t your son, right before your flight to Paris!
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Tell me more about this Boston “Yellow Line” 🙂
Jose, I got carried away! No yellow line, at least not in the 7 years I’ve lived here, unless you count the buses haha 🙂
My train in London broke down, leaving me to hit the Heathrow Express which arrived at my terminal 21 minutes before departure. Hit the ground running, had FastTrack to get through security, and ran down the corridor in the terminal yelling “Chicago, Chicago” hoping that someone would hear me and not close the doors. I made it!
That’s a close one Corey!
We actually had a jetway re-extended for us… though this was the 1990’s (pre-9/11). Headed to Florida from Boston, about 15 minutes from the airport, my wife realized that she had forgotten a stack of papers she needed to work on vacation. The good news was that we were using a car service, and the driver was a pro. He whipped us back to the house (about 15 minutes back), then made the half-hour ride to the airport in under 20. We jumped the line at security and ran to the gate (all carry-on) to find the door closed. But the agent called the plane and they re-opened the jetway and plane door to get us on just before the plane pushed back. Got a lot of strange “Who are these people” looks from those already onboard, but we made it!
I don’t leave nearly as much time as you and have still never missed a flight, although I came close when I went to the wrong airport! Our city used to have a domestic airport right near downtown and an international and domestic one outside of the city. I was on a short hop flight of around 45 minutes in the air and thought it left from the domestic one. It did not. Made the 40 minute drive in about 25 and was the last to board, by quite a bit, and, like the commenter above, made the walk of shame to the back of the plane, but I still made it.