One Airport Terminal Mistake That Can Cost You Your Flight

You don’t want to miss this tip, er, trip

By Shubhra Krishan

Airport terminals can be dazzling. The trouble is, they can sometimes dazzle you into forgetting you have a flight to catch.

Even if you don’t forget, it’s easy to miscalculate the time required for you to reach the departure gate. “Five more minutes,” you think while floating in duty-free heaven.  These days, most of us have our eyes glued to the phone screen. At some point, your eye drifts to the airport screen, and the heart misses a beat.

You realise, with mounting horror, that the terminal is actually sort of…interminable. You find yourself running on the moving walkway, then sprinting toward the gate, which seems scarily deserted. Maybe boarding hasn’t begun yet? You tell yourself. But inside, you know that the bird has flown.


Don’t let this happen to you!

  • Make sure your watch is showing the correct time, especially if you are travelling across time zones.
  • Better still, consult the airport clocks and screens.
  • Airport stores are almost always more expensive than regular ones. Try not to buy!
  • Sometimes, airport security checks can take way longer than you expected. Keep a comfortable margin. When it comes to airports, always better early than late.
  • If you are at an unfamiliar airport, it’s doubly important to ensure you are close to the departure gate well in time. At London Heathrow, for instance, I once ended up beating an Olympic record to make the flight.

The world’s longest airport walks


It’s a whopping two-mile walk at Beijing’s Capital International Terminal 3 from start to finish.

The #1 longest walk in the US is 2.16 miles at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The walk to your gate at Zurich Airport is about 2km and Frankfurt Main Airport a good 1.9km.

As air traffic increases and airport terminals expand,  we should expect much longer walks to the boarding gate. Workout or hike; whatever you call it, make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes and an easy-rolling bag to get you there in time.

Bon voyage!

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