I like flying the first flight out because it is the least likely to be delayed by traffic and least likely to be an inconvenience to many people. Getting in the car at 4:45 am, my brother and I saw a person skateboarding down the street, and he may have been returning home. I cannot remember the last time I came home at that hour. More often than not, I can remember starting my day in the darkness of the night.
On the way to the airport, we talked about some of my more memorable moments around flights, airports and travel. I’ve definitely had to turn back home because of a forgotten passport, but it was only to Canada. Some people I know have forgotten whether they were going to Laguardia or JFK and had to change route midway. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. But I have shown up at the airport thinking my flight to Asia was leaving in the afternoon but instead it had already left in the early morning. It had not occurred to me that the flight was written in military time. One new year’s day, I waited over two hours for baggage check only to miss the flight and miss standby on every flight that day, only to have to return the next day for another flight. I have been that person, running through the terminal, only to be the last person seated on the flight. I noticed suspicious activity once on my credit card and saw the flight path of that individual and called the airport to have him arrested. I was very tired, flying from Florida and fell asleep in the gate area in Chicago on a transfer and missed hearing my name paged. One Thanksgiving, I drove from Philadelphia to NYC, took the subway to JFK, boarded a flight to Rome, took the local train downtown to transfer to the long distance train to meet my brother on the subway platform in Florence.
Endless experiences attempting to get somewhere, remind me sometimes it is about the journey.