An Eventful Pre-Event
It’s best to be at the airport two hours before the plane takes off. I learned through first hand experience that this is four times as much time as you really need. Also, it’s best to make sure that you’re going to the right airport.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Houston, the city has two airports George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Like good airline passengers, Nathan and I left for the airport at 1:15 for our 3:55 flight. At this point, I’d like to point out that when someone at Rice says “the airport”, they usually mean Hobby which is 7 miles south of Rice as opposed to IAH which is 23 miles North. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time for our flight and maybe even enough time to get a little homework done while waiting at the gate. Once inside the airport, and not seeing a sign for United Airlines, I inquired about its location to the gentleman at the help desk who politely informed me that United doesn’t fly out of Hobby, and perhaps I was at the wrong airport. Within seconds I had my laptop open and out to the page that said quite clearly that we should be at IAH.
As Nathan hurriedly drove at the speed limit towards the other airport, I alternated between the processes of staring at my Android for directions, calculating our arrival time, and reassuring myself that we would be just fine. By some luck and mostly the fact that Thursday early afternoon is not a very popular travel time, Nathan and I managed to get through security in twelve minutes. After getting our daily exercise via speed walking, we managed to arrive at our gate not long after they called our boarding group.
The moral of the story: upload your itinerary to DropBox.