The 1am ride to the airport

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I swear.  Well, at least sortof.

The price was right and the routing – from JFK to Mexico City, via Panama – was plenty fun, with a decent amount of time in both Panama and Mexico.  Plus, the flights earn 150% credit in Continental’s OnePass program, bringing me that much closer to requalification for next year, the 100K EQMs I need for the SWUs and to finally hitting my lifetime million miles status.

Yet, as I left my apartment at 1am to head over to the E train and make my way to the airport I was most definitely questioning my sanity.  Sitting on the floor outside the lounge – it is closed until 4am – that questioning is getting stronger.  The flight is scheduled to depart at 5:07 am.  That would mean a 3:30ish cab at the latest or a 3am subway ride.  That’s not much time to sleep which meant that pushing up my departure from home a couple hours didn’t seem all that crazy, even though it did mean no sleep tonight.

Sure, I should get the upgrade so I’ll have a comfortable sleep to curl up in when I get on the plane.  And the flight is pretty long so I have an opportunity for several consecutive hours of sleep.  That should be nice.  And I will be plenty exhausted by the time I get on board so falling asleep shouldn’t be a problem.

But planning a trip that requires heading to the airport at 1am seems quite foolish in retrospect.  Of course, I have another trip on the same flight scheduled for the end of March.  At least that one will be with a bunch of friends but it is still crazy.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .


  1. I’ve done that before, though not quite as early. Was coming back from Singapore to the US, flight was scheduled to depart SIN at 6:00am, so figured I’d have to be at the airport at about 4:00am, so would have to leave my dorm at 3:00am. Since I had almost missed a previous flight by sleeping through my loud alarm for TWO HOURS, I decided to just stay up. Yet again I almost fell asleep in the SATS lounge, but made it out okay.

  2. Ha ! So now you know how we all feel when we have to travel to UK USA from India ! We have to arrive and depart at most ungodly hours.

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