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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeTravel AdviceAt The AirportBoarding Announcement Paranoia

Boarding Announcement Paranoia

​Nothing gives me more anxiety than the thought of missing my flight. I hate being late to the gate and have mild panic attacks when I think about arriving at the gate to find the door closed. 

Before the points life, I would show up early and sit in an uncomfortable chair, set my phone alarm for the boarding time just in case I fell asleep. There have been close calls when someone would wake me up to warn me of the final boarding call. 

This anxiety has worsened with my access to lounges. At some lounges, there is not a boarding announcement so I pay careful attention to the time denoted on my boarding pass. Paranoid, I do not trust the monitors and find myself arriving early as a precaution. 

When the lounge does make announcements, I have more stress as I start to second-guess whether I heard the announcement. I take out my ticket and question how my boarding pass says 15:30, it’s 3:45PM, and no announcement has been made. I subsequently question my math skills. Is fifteen minus twelve equal to three? Frantic, I rush to the gate prematurely. 

I assume in either case and especially the second that there would be a page requesting me to pick up the white courtesy phone and get to the gate pronto. Would an airline really leave a passenger behind that checked in both at the ticket counter and at a lounge? 

I can’t risk finding out. 

a screens on a wall
Don’t believe everything you read.


  1. I subscribe to flight updates for the inbound aircraft, and use that as my prompt to leave the lounge. For example, I might have a flight that starts boarding at 1pm. I look up where that inbound aircraft is coming from, and I notice that it lands at 12:30pm. So I subscribe to flight updates for the inbound flight. If it is delayed (it often is), I’m not spending a ton of wasted time at the gate, waiting for a flight that might be 30min – 1 hour late.

    This isn’t perfect of course – if the inbound is super-late, the carrier sometimes swaps another plane and my flight still leaves on time. Other times, the inbound flight landed several hours before (or even the day before), so status updates are of no use.

    Regardless, I still keep an eye on the time and don’t rely solely on status updates – but it sure is handy when the timing of the flights works out — I can get an extra hour worth of work done in the lounge when the inbound is delayed – I’m not nearly as productive sitting at the gate.

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