Flight Delayed? Hang Out at the Gate or Risk Missing It

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Yesterday both Jeanne and I were flying out roughly the same time, so we decided to grab a drink in the US Airways lounge before my flight departed. While I was there, I got a phone call telling me my flight had been delayed to 5PM. was saying my flight was on time, and they pull from FAA data, but the US Airways website showed a delay to 4:45 (not 5PM) and a completely different gate. I checked the monitors in the lounge, they were saying the same thing as the website, so it must be true.

That gave us more time together, but not exactly quality time as I kept getting up to check the monitor and hitting refresh on the flight status page. I remembered the last time I hung out in the lounge waiting for a delayed flight that left sooner than scheduled with no advance warning. Not very good company. Sorry Jeanne!

Then my connecting flight was delayed! From 7:45 to 10:33PM. Soon after I arrived at the gate area they announced the 9PM was still on time and they’d be moving everyone to that one once they had an ETA. So I went off to find food, winding up with an enormous plate of nachos that I only half ate because I was anxious I was missing flight announcements and I soon returned to the gate area.

Green Iguana Mojo Pork Nachos

Sure enough, 10 minutes later they announced my original flight was cancelled (though the flight monitors hadn’t updated) and they’d be calling us up to get boarding passes for the 9PM, which would board as soon as it landed, anytime from 8:45-9:30. We were all on board ready to leave around 9:20 when two people came running across the tarmac.

They’d been on the 7:45, saw it was delayed and had decided to kill time elsewhere, only to notice a few minutes ago that it was cancelled and had rushed down to the gate to figure out what was happening. Ours was the last flight out that night, so had they missed it, they would have had to overnight and it probably would have been their fault since the announcements had been made multiple times.

So as tempting as having that extra drink or snack in the lounge or restaurant might be, the airlines aren’t kidding when they say “be at your gate at the original time as flight times are subject to change”

Has this happened to you?


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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