The folly of booking a 22 minute connection

Apparently I didn’t look too closely when I was planning the six-segment trip from Newark to Seattle. Continental apparently didn’t mind too much either, as they let me book a 22 minute connection in Orlando. The good news is that all the Continental gates there are close together. The bad news is that 22 minutes is a very short connection.

Things got a bit worse as we waited in Houston for the flight to Orlando. Our crew was late arriving to the plane. Now our 22 minute connection was shrinking and there wasn’t much we could do about it. The gate agent in Orlando was quite helpful, offering to protect us on a United flight that would catch us back up with our itinerary but that wasn’t nearly as much fun as trying to actually make the connection.

The good news is that we made the connection, even with the delay. The Continental agents were waiting at the gate and knew that we were on the inbound flight from Houston and they were ready for the late arriving passengers. Even though we missed the cut-off time for being at the gate on-time we managed to keep our seats and the upgrades. Sorry to the folks next in line on the list.

The best part about making the connection is that the crew we had for the quick two-hour flight up to Cleveland was the best of the trip. Most crews are fine and even can be a little fun if you’re willing to chat with them. This crew was one of the few special ones that come along. Ashley, Scott and Michelle were having fun doing their job and it showed. Truly an enjoyable experience. So much so that we briefly investigated changing our last couple flights to get a couple more hours in the air with them. Sadly, that was cost-prohibitive; flying with them to Vegas likely would’ve been a blast.

Moral of the story? Regardless of how stupid a 22 minute connection seems, booking it can be fun. Especially if there isn’t really anything to worry about missing at the next hop if the flights don’t work out right. Besides, when things do work out right, fun times can be found.

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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.