airport, connection, waiting, lounge

The Long Wait Before The Long Flight

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While there are numerous upsides of being an airline employee traveller, there are just as many downsides. Aside from the meticulous, and candidly, ridiculous amount of planning that goes into our travel, the very uncomfortable teeth gnashing that takes place when you are on that list and the flight is full, there are times in which we have to take it up a notch and take additional measures so we don’t miss a connection that will not only ruin our day, but effectively ruin our trip.

One of those measures is taking an earlier flight and sit around an airport so you don’t miss the one flight that you need to take to get to your destination. This is the exact situation in which I find myself today. I took an earlier flight to position myself so that I could catch the one very long flight, in this case Chicago-Hong Kong, all 15 hours of it, to get to Singapore. Of course, that meant I got maybe an hour of sleep…no worries, the flight is 15 HOURS! Chances are fair to good that I will get some sleep. Then again, it’s a day flight and I am going over the North Pole for the first time, so it’s hard to say exactly when I’ll get that sleep. More about that later.

One tip to ease that pain is to buy a day pass at the airline club. Cost is about $60, but absolutely worth the cost when you consider that you can eat, drink (non alcoholic beverages) and rest in vastly more comfort that you would sitting at a gate. The one thing that is a huge benefit is that people are very quiet. There are a lot of people in here and I can tell you that it is a lot less noisy than outside on the concourse. People who have memberships in airline clubs want exactly that…and they get it. Those of us who visit on occasion and share their desire for quiet appreciate the peace that takes a bit of the pain out of a six hour wait before that fifteen hour flight.

The moral of this story is, if you can afford it, buy a membership. If you only travel occasionally, and you have a significant wait (greater than three hours), then if you want a place to quietly contemplate life, get a bite to eat and take a bit of stress out of the day, the price is completely worth it.

Now, I have to get on the flight…