I thought about this before, during, and after the trip - even though I had to visit more than one state and go well over 500 miles, it would save time - AND a LOT of trouble - to just drive.
A flight means you leave for the airport about 2 hours and 15 minutes before the flight.
- Allow at least 45 minutes to make sure you get to the airport and park and get in the terminal.
- Then you have to be there before the plane departs - add up to 1 more hour to get through security and correct any last-minute problems.
- Then there's the flight - that was about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Then there's getting off the plane, getting a cab, getting to the hotel - that's another hour.
That all adds up to 5 hours but doesn't count another hour getting a car rental the next day. That ended up taking well over 1 hour...
Add one more hour or so, and I could have driven there - and avoided:
* Last-minute refusal to rent me a car - and subsequent efforts on my part to GET the car rented. I succeeded but it was not fun.
* Being stopped at airport security 2 times within 20 minutes at the same airport. First, I went back and checked my bag. Then on my 2nd time through, I was told to step aside to get patted down. I wanted to just leave but I was told that I couldn't leave. Then my wish to not be patted down in public was met with the implication that this could bring more problems upon myself for a lack of cooperation. So by that time, since they'd already rifled through my bag, and made me stand 2 times in some tube in an already awkward-at-best manner - I said "just go ahead and pat me down here."
This all happened on my way back, wearing the same thing, with no changes in what I presented at the departing airport, and with LESS in my bag than I'd left with.
I really dislike what happens these days at airport security because it touches a nerve of mine that definitely is a challenging one for me. I won't mention that here. Others probably share the feeling though!
Everything changes into a gestapo mentality. They even patted down my preteen daughter one time. I've found that the smaller the city, the more likely you are to run into overzealous airport security personnel.
This time I was originally driving - but was not able to get that alignment done before the trip; and had lots of work left to do - so I decided to fly. BEEEEEP. Wrong decision.
So next time - I'm driving!
If I have to fly again, I will NOT wear a bra in case THAT'S what brought on my woes. I won't bring anything that I value in terms of flash drives or anything else.
My experience was fairly run-of-the-mill even if it rubbed me the wrong way - but look at what happened to this MIT student:
Boston Airport LED Sweatshirt Scare - Interview with Star Simpson