What Happens When You Miss A Flight: On my recent trip to Dallas I learned a valuable lesson. Be at the gate 10 minutes before the flight come hell or high water! My Mom's birthday celebration was wonderful. The flight getting there... not so.
We had a flight heading to El Paso and onto Dallas Love Field at 2pm on a Friday afternoon. There was heavy freeway traffic, but the security line backup at Terminal 1 was worse! My boarding pass was "TSA Pre" allowing me to zip right on through security. The rest of the family wasn't so lucky. They moved at a snail's pace through the ridiculously long security screening. As I stood at the gate I kept telling the airline's workers "they're coming please" wait before giving away our tickets to standby passengers which they do at 10 minutes before a flight. 10 minutes hit. We can see my family running down the walkway at Terminal 1 toward the gate. I tell the airline worker "There they are." He says "too late" and gave away all of our tickets. We then became "standby passengers." Remember, we are trying to get to Dallas. He tries to get us on a St. Louis flight with the idea of catching a Dallas flight in Missouri. No luck.
Denver is next. One seat. I take it and am off to Denver. Later in the afternoon, my family gets seats to Albuquerque. From New Mexico they'll pickup a flight to Dallas. In Denver I'm put on a flight to Dallas that stops in Amarillo. I'm told as a standup I could be pulled off the plane if someone buys a seat. I said "I bought a seat." The Southwest clerk at the gate said "you lost that ticket when you didn't fulfill your promise to be at the gate 10 minutes before the flight." I was stunned. But, guess that's what happened. I finally get to Dallas after midnight Saturday about the same time as my family. The rest of the weekend was wonderful! The moral of the story: Even if you leave for the airport "early" it may not be early enough and a simple trip down the 405 to LAX can turn into a flight-mare. From now on I'll probably tack an extra hour onto my drive to the airport... maybe TWO!