Headless chicken in the airport

I have three biggest hobbies in this life.

One, exploring good eats; two, collecting chocolates and stuffing them to my mouth, and three, missing my flights.

Today’s instructional article is about my third and funnest hobby of them all - how to miss your freaking flights.

First, buy a plane ticket. This is important because unless you do this there is no flight to miss in the first place, and there is no reward of ultimate anxiety in the end.

Next, a day before your trip, do nothing. Yeah, go about your normal routine. You’re a seasoned traveller, you’ve done this a hundred times why should it be any different this time around? Watch a movie (ooh, Harry Potter is coming up soon!), grab a drink, do some shopping. Get a large cup of cappuccino because you have a feeling you’re gonna need it later. When it gets late, call a friend to have dinner. It’s bad manners if you don’t, you know, and it’s always nice to catch up. Discuss your next travel plans if you may.

When it gets really late, it’s time to call it a day and head back home. Be welcomed by your nice comfortable bed. Sprawl all over and close your eyes a little. Tell yourself you’ll close your eyes for just five minutes.

Wake up an hour later. Or two. Upon which you switch on your laptop computer and check out what your friends on Facebook are up to. It is an essential part of human existence and you absolutely need to know who among the Sex and the City women your friend Jane identifies with the most. And yes, it is of equal importance that you know that a photo of Manny Pacquiao is liked by your friend Joe. 

When your laptop runs out of juice, at around midnight, put the computer aside and start packing. Think of how many days you will spend on the trip and bring the equivalent number of shirts. Plus three - because you never know what can happen. If the shirts and pants look too wrinkled, give them a good press with your flat iron. Watch HBO while you’re at it.

Around three in the morning, stuff in the last pair of underwear into your luggage and feel a sense of pride overcome you. You have done it, you have finished packing, you have conquered the world. This is one of the highlights of your preparation - when you zip up your luggage for the last time and prop it up for you to admire.

Reward yourself by getting a few hours more sleep. Your trip is not until, like, 6 hours away anyway. Snooze away and dream of Boracay in your sleep.

About three to four hours later, wake up and hit the showers. You will be sitting right next to a person in the plane and so you need to smell nice. Lather, rinse, repeat. Get into your clothes, groom yourself and scan the room and make sure all your electronics have been unplugged.

And then, in slow motion, lift your wrist to your face and look at your watch. Say an expletive. Ah yes, the amazing race begins.

Towing your luggage, your backpack and a paper bag, sprint to the lift and get the hell out of the apartment. Wave at an oncoming cab and ask the driver to bring you to the airport. Plead with the driver to avoid roads with heaviest traffic, and tell him you need to be in the airport in 30 minutes or less. When you run into a traffic jam anyway, let out another expletive and look constipated.

Bargain with God that you will be a model citizen of the world if He gets you to the airport in the nick of time. And then sit back and wait. Don’t look at your watch throughout the ride so that you don’t feel the urge to jump out of the car.

When you see the airport close by, check the meter and prepare your cab fare. As soon as the cab comes to a halt, hand your fare over to the driver and get the heck out of the cab.

Now run. Run like the wind. Run like a headless chicken in the airport. Run like you’ve never run before and bargain with God once more. Watch as some people look at you in awe as you make your way to the check in counter.

Rejoice when you see the counter. Join the queue.

When it’s finally your turn, hand over your travel itinerary to the beautiful lady at the counter. Give a big smile. Hope and pray that everything will work out.

Then, hear the magic words. “Sorry, this flight is closed.” The five most beautiful words in the English dictionary. Upon hearing this, look as shocked as you can and drop the jaw. Let a drop of sweat trickle down your face. Start to negotiate by saying “But it’s only just been five minutes. Please, I really need to be on that flight. Please…” Cross your finger and whisper a prayer.

Look like this:

Photo not mine

Feel your knees weaken when the lady replies to you with “I’m sorry sir, but the boarding gate has closed already. You can take the next trip, although only business class is all that’s left today.”

Let out a silent expletive. Give the Puss-in-Boots look one more time, and wait for a few seconds.

Then when nothing seems to happen, resign and reach for your wallet.

You have just missed another trip. Congratulations!


No, I did not just miss another flight, thank you. The last time I did was eons ago - last February 2011 as a matter of fact. 

Friday Apr 20 12am   | Comments

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