I think this is the closest I’ve come to actually missing a flight, without actually missing it.
I was running late to Reagan airport admittedly, though it wasn’t within the “oh, crap” time limit yet, so I was still thinking I was okay. After taking the Metro to the airport, was now within 29 minutes to departure and 19 minutes to door closing.
I raced into the airport, but figured I would be okay since I had Pre-Check and also had checked in on my iPhone before, so knew I didn’t have to go to a counter or anything.
Lo and behold, as I raced to the security line, I tried pulling up my boarding pass and it error-ed out. Oh, no. It literally wouldn’t pull up my pass and gave me the dreaded “go see an agent” message.
T-minus 13 minutes to door closing.
With literally 13 minutes to door closing, I raced liked a bat out of hell to the American ticket counter upstairs and found an agent to help. As luck would have it, this agent seemed brand new and basically told me I was out of luck, but would put me on standby for the later flight. A supervisor on the next podium overheard the situation and came over to assist (thankfully!) and explained to the newer agent how to force a boarding pass, considering I had already checked in on my phone several hours prior.
T-minutes 6 minutes to door closing.
Note to self: American boarding passes deactivate within 30 minutes to departure if you haven’t gone through security yet.
Boarding pass in hand, I raced to security, only to have my backpack called for further inspection. Seriously?! It’s like I have no luck… but, after 3 minutes, I was released and continued on my marathon sprint.
I made it to the gate 2 minutes prior to door closing. Holy sh*t.
So, I explain this to provide you a tip that I had actually known for quite sometime but refused to follow my own advice today. If you think you’re going to be running late for your flight, screenshot the boarding pass when you pull it up in the app. If you don’t, you’ll get the dreaded “see an agent” message, and you obviously don’t want that. With only minutes to go, you may not have the time to go to the counter, but if you don’t screenshot your pass, the app won’t let you pull it up. Screenshotting it is a way of “overriding” the system and still being able to get to security and through to your flight. Of course, there’s no guarantee of actually making your flight, but you at least avoid having to detour and stop by the ticketing counter to waste more time.
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