Running through the airport is something I have not had to do for quite a while. I think the most recent time where time was of the essence was when a flight cancellation caused a work trip to go sideways back in late 2017 and I found myself both speeding the 270 miles to SFO and then running through the airport to my gate. I made the flight with maybe 2 minutes to spare. It was that close.

Since then, things have been easy. I don’t tend to arrive early. But it’s almost never necessary to run through the airport. But I’m glad I did at McCarran this week, as it likely saved my travel plans for the day.

Mild Despair to Mad Dash

After checking out the new Resorts World casino and the new Las Vegas Hilton hotel it contains, I had a leisurely morning enjoying the Linq Promenade and then heading off to McCarran. With hours to go until my evening flight, I spent some time writing from a table in the middle of Concourse D. I’d arrived too early to enter the Centurion Lounge, but headed over just a few minutes before I hit the 3-hour mark before my flight.

On the way I pulled up my flight on the Delta app. To my dismay, it was delayed by about a half hour. I’d already have a tight connection in Seattle, and this would leave me all of 13 minutes between arrival and departure times. Unless things went absolutely perfectly, I would be hosed.

None of the rebooking options Delta offered were reasonable. They all had me arriving in Medford the following day. But with no other flight options that day, I figured my best shot was to take my original flight and risk getting stuck in Seattle. At least I’d be closer to me destination.

I’d just put my phone away when a last call announcement came over the PA. It was the last call for Delta flight 1057 to Seattle. Delta. Seattle?! The Delta app had failed to show this option! I guess it was because the flight was already boarding. The question was…could I make it across the airport in time.

I grabbed my stuff and bolted. Concourse D isn’t very large, but it is still a good distance from Gate D4 to Gate D43. I arrived out of breath. Chest heaving, I gasped out my request to be put on the flight. The gate agent was initially hesitant, saying she didn’t think they had time to make the switch. But after explaining my upcoming delayed flight and tight connection, she madly set to work to reissue my ticket.

The story ends well. I made the flight and enjoyed an evening in the Delta Club near Concourse B in Seattle. They closed that aircraft door very soon after I boarded. I am quite thankful that I made the flight, as I ultimately arrived in Medford that night as planned.

Final Thoughts

The question is: was running through the airport necessary? My gut tells me that it was in this case. It’s about 1,000 feet between these two gates. Assuming I normally walk 2.5 MPH and I jog 5 MPH, running saved me ~2 minutes. I’ll never know if 2 minutes would have made any difference. But I made the flight!

This might seem like a silly thing to write about, but it was one of those times where I had a choice: take immediate action to potentially remedy a mishap or play wait and see. I’d almost always rather act than wait. Indecision can kill you. The worst that would have happened is that I would have arrived to a closed gate. The best case is that I make the flight. And that’s exactly what happened.

Have you ever had to make a quick decision to prevent travel plans from falling apart? Let me know your story below!