TALKING POINT | How early should you arrive at the airport ahead of your flight? Most airlines suggest somewhere between two hours and 60 minutes depending on the airline, the airport and where you're flying to.
But a US professor reckons the best time to arrive at the airport is "as late as possible." And he's serious.
The Daily Mail reports that Professor Jordan Ellenberg, from the University of Wisconsin, holds that every hour a traveller spends at the airport is a "negative unit", as they could have been relaxing in the comfort of their own home instead.
In his new book How Not To Be Wrong – The Hidden Maths Of Everyday Life, Ellenberg says the risk of possibly missing your flight compared with the wasted hours you would spend at the airport over your lifetime is worth it.
Of course, it “depends on how you personally feel about the relative merits of missing planes and wasting time,” he told The Sunday Times.
“But if in the course of a lifetime you never miss a flight then you may not have the best strategy."
"If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re not doing it right.”
Well, we've got news for the good professor. If you've never missed a flight, you actually are doing it right. You're doing it like a pro.
Because people are supposed to catch their flights.
That's the whole idea: you pay for a ticket, you go to the airport in time to board your plane and you fly away. That's how it works.
Arriving to the airport "as late as possible" – late enough to miss the flight if there's any unexpected delays on the road, at checkin, at security? Wrong strategy.
Getting there late that instead of having time to relax in the lounge you're hustling straight to the boarding gate? No thanks.
In fact, like many travellers I'd rather clock up an extra hour in the lounge – or even enjoying a cuppa at the airport cafe with a book to ready – comfortable in the knowledge that I'm on the spot and ready to go.
That hour isn't a "negative unit". In fact, depending on the lounge and your attitude it's one of the most positive ways to begin your journey.
You're welcome to squeeze out that last hour at home, Professor Ellenberg, and set of for the airport "as late as possible."
I'll take my chances heading to the airport a little earlier and spending a 'negative hour' in the lounge.
And because I've never missed a flight, Professor Ellenberg, I reckon my strategy trumps yours.
How early do you get to the airport before your flight?
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