I, personally, have never missed a flight. Long may it continue, touch wood. I am too nervous. On flight day I get to the airport early and wait around. Sometimes too early to even check-in. I read a quote once that said if you never miss a flight you’re wasting your time. It was attributed to some business person, maybe a hedge fund manager, someone who thought of the minutes and hours of their lives as having monetary value. Thus, time spent at an airport when they could be betting big on the financial markets may indeed have seemed like a waste of time. I take the opposite view. My time is wasted either way. I’m too nervous about missing my flights. If trading was my profession, I wouldn’t want to be betting within hours of a flight, my mind would be too pre-occupied on the hassles of the airport. So either I wait around an airport or I wait around at home. It just makes more sense for me to wait at the airport. I don’t like to rush things.
My parents decided to drive us all back to Rio from Paraty on the day of their flight. It’s a four hour drive. They left eight hours before their flight departure. Reasonable enough for normal circumstances. A tropical rain hit and continued just before we ate the pre-drive lunch. It was also New Years weekend. The roads were gridlocked from Paraty to Rio. The Brazilians made a third lane out of the hard shoulder. My dad joined in despite my mother’s complaints. As the flight times drew closer, she complained less and less. Unfortunately, the extra lane wasn’t enough. The drive took over 8 hours, maybe 9. We checked into a hotel by the airport for the first night. Flights leaving over the next two days cost thousands of dollars. My parents were stuck in Rio for another few days.
Still, my free ride was over. After the night in the airport hotel, I was back to hostel living.