In air travel days of yore, it was not uncommon to see people running through airports to catch planes with just moments to spare. Not anymore. Here are three good reasons to leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport this fall, and travelers to/from Los Angeles and Columbus should pay special attention.
Listen as air travel expert Rick Seaney explains why you do not want to show up late:
3 Good Reasons to Leave for the Airport Early
1. Traffic delays
A car accident can occur in the blink of an eye – according to recent Department of Transportation statistics, on average there are more than 14,800 motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. every day. With luck, one won’t occur on your route to the airport, but there are no guarantees. There is, however, a guarantee of delays in Southern California and central Ohio later this fall – thanks to massive highway construction projects:
Los Angeles: What officials are calling Carmageddon II will shut down ten miles of LA’s notorious 405 freeway, a major artery leading to sprawling LAX airport. It all begins Friday Sept. 28 and is scheduled to last about 53 hours. Note to tourists: construction will shut down the Getty Center during that weekend, too.
Columbus: Beginning Sept. 14, a major downtown I-670 highway ramp will shut down for two months. The good news is it should be ready for airport traffic during the busy Thanksgiving travel period.
2. Airline capacity cuts.
United has announced it will be cutting capacity throughout the rest of the year by more than anticipated – reportedly about 2 percent to 3 percent through the rest of the year – something that’s been an ongoing process for most airlines during the past few years. This will result in even more tightly packed planes which could in turn mean require earlier boarding times to get all passengers seated in a timely fashion. This of course goes hand-in-hand with on-time statistics.
3. Airline on-time statistics.
Airlines are keenly aware of the need to depart and arrive on time since the DOT publishes these statistics for all to see. As a result, more and more planes are leaving on-time or even early. It doesn’t matter what is printed on your ticket, if the plane pulls away from the gate before you get to the boarding area, it will not return for you.
The moral of all this – do not be late.