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, and LinkedIn.


  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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