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because it’s a race

September 12, 2013

One of my husband’s goals in life is to not spend one second more than necessary at the airport.

And in his effort to make this happen, he plans, devises strategies, and inevitably angers and annoys his fellow travelers (me and Maya) beginning 48 hours prior to departure (PTD).

Ice cream at Fortnum and Mason, Tea at Paul, Scones at Fortnum and Mason, Ice cream at Harrods

Ice cream at Fortnum and Mason, Tea at Paul, Scones at Fortnum and Mason, Pudding at Harrods

The following is based on our departure from London last week:

  • 48 Hours PTD – Ali discussed, at great length, the cost / time benefit of taking a cab to Heathrow versus the Underground or car service. He consulted Amex. He consulted relatives and friends. He consulted neighbors. He decided on a cab.
  • 23.59 Hours PTD – Ali was the very first person to check in online. Because it’s a race.
  • 12 Hours PTD – Ali Ignored the fact that clothes and computers were scattered around. Everywhere. And that there was a slim possibility they’d all fit in his carry-on.
At St. James Park, Big Ben, Maya mesmerized by a swing at Heathrow Airport

At St. James Park, Big Ben, Maya mesmerized by a swing at Heathrow Airport

  • 8 Hours PTD – Ali contemplated the fact that the Underground is cheaper and less likely to see delays due to the inclement weather. He consulted Amex. He consulted relatives and friends. He consulted neighbors. He decided on the Underground.
  • 4 Hours PTD – Ali watched as I packed all his clothes and computers. He said annoying things like, “I was just about to do that,” and “That’s a nice shirt. Make sure you don’t wrinkle it.”
  • 3.5 Hours PTD – Ali noted that the rain had stopped and insisted that 3 people in a cab is only slightly more than 3 people on the Underground. He re-revised plans to take a cab and then (absurdly) said, “We should go to Hyde Park one last time.” 
  • 2 Hours PTD – We finally left for the airport at my insistence. En route, Ali complained that we’d get there too early and have too much time to kill.
Back to NY in time for Fashion Week! Lots of pretty girls walking around.

Back to NY in time for Fashion Week! Lots of pretty girls walking around, along with a man in a whole lot of Versace.

  • 1.25 Hours PTD – We arrived at the airport with less than the recommended two-hour window. Ali complained about the lines and wondered if there was another secret line that airport security kept unknown from the general public.
  • 1 Hour PTD – Ali exchanged boarding passes for pool sticks and start playing pool with Maya. He ignored the loudspeaker as it repeatedly advised travelers on VS 045 to head directly to the boarding gate.
  • 0.75 Hours PTD – Ali raced to the gate, all the while screaming at Maya that we were NOT on a Sunday walk, and why can’t she hurry up?
  • 0.50 Hours PTD – We all collapsed on the plane. Ali said super annoying thing #542: “See? I told you we’d get here just in time.”

Nobody can accuse us of not knowing how to end a trip on the right note….

68 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2013 12:29 am

    I must say Ameena – I’m a fan of spending the least amount of time at the airport as possible. But this is easier when making frequent trips.

    Mad dash to the departure gate – the best part !!!

    What can I say … livin on the edge 🙂

    • September 12, 2013 5:47 pm

      Living on the edge. So funny…I just realized this is one of the few times Ali actually likes to live on the edge!

  2. September 12, 2013 1:04 am

    I am totally anal about this too, but in the opposite way. I have to get there super early. In my mind there are so many things that can go wrong, and so I like to have plenty of time to allow for error… and duty free of course!
    *kisses* H

    • September 12, 2013 5:48 pm

      I bought a few things from Duty Free…I mean, it’s hard not to when you HAVE to go through that section at Heathrow in order to get to your gate. 🙂

  3. September 12, 2013 2:03 am

    I can be super anal about travelling, I have to get to the airport at least 3 hours early, do the online check in as soon as it opens, clear security with super efficiency and be the 1st one on the plane! Anyone witnessing me with my family would think it was a military drill taking place. I have this fear of missing the flight and get this I live exactly 10 mins away from Heathrow- I could sleep walk to the airport and still marshal my husband and kid with me.

    • September 12, 2013 5:49 pm

      You live 10 minutes from Heathrow? No kidding! We should have met up…next time I’ll ask Ali to leave a 15 minutes earlier and we can have a quick chat. 🙂

      • September 13, 2013 1:33 am

        Yes that would be great. I can see Ali saying lets make a quick stop to Hyde park, then Sejal’s place and then when we have 30 seconds before check in closes we will dash to airport!

  4. Piya permalink
    September 12, 2013 6:15 am

    Hahahaha. My mom is exactly like Ali. I’m the total opposite. I like getting to the airport early and browsing around duty free before going to the gate. On our last trip while traveling with my mom, we were so late. Our family was the last to check in, literally just 10 seconds before they shut the counter. The only good thing- because we were so late and the flight was over booked, we got a free upgrade.

    • September 12, 2013 5:49 pm

      A free upgrade! Now there’s a reason to be late. Even I could be late for that. 🙂

  5. Lydia permalink
    September 12, 2013 6:19 am

    Hahaha… never a dull moment with Ali .. I’m the opposite, I’ll be at the airport like 3 or 4 hours prior to the departure time. I couldn’t even have a good night sleep the night before due to the nervousness/fear of missing the flight. Besides, I love airport and being there & the people-watching is one of my fave things to do 🙂
    Love NYFW! I’m a bit jealous you got to see all the activities up close. That Versace man is fearless…. 🙂

    • September 12, 2013 5:50 pm

      I don’t love all airports (LAX) but I do like many (Heathrow is one of the nicer ones!). I could definitely spend some time there without getting bored…

  6. September 12, 2013 7:10 am

    I also can’t stand to be in the airport longer than I have to, but I’m also super anxious about making my flight on time, always, so I vibrate between the two.

    Welcome to New York 🙂 I died laughing over the garbage can story.

    • September 12, 2013 5:51 pm

      Hi Ilana! Would love to see you if you are still living here.

      It’s been a while…

  7. September 12, 2013 7:19 am

    This must be a man thing. This timeline is pretty much like traveling with Peter (and it’s been passed down through generations), and the exponentially-growing stress has not changed the way we travel (of course). Still, looks like it was a fun and delicious trip! 🙂

    I want to meet that man in head-to-toe Versace!

    • September 12, 2013 5:51 pm

      I speak from experience when I say it will never change!

      13 years and nothing’s different about the way we travel…

  8. September 12, 2013 7:26 am

    I’m all for going to airport just when needed not 6 hrs before 😀 see you made it at the end

    BTW Maya in the picture below looks just like you .. for a second I even thought its you 🙂

    • September 12, 2013 5:52 pm

      Really? You thought it was me? So nice to read this, most people don’t think we look too much alike!

  9. September 12, 2013 8:16 am

    I’m too scared to NOT show up pretty early for a flight. There are too many things that can go wrong and I do not want to miss my flight. Glad you made it!

    • September 12, 2013 5:52 pm

      Exactly…so many things can go wrong. What’s the point in stressing, right?

  10. September 12, 2013 8:51 am

    all the men in my family are exactly like Ali – I don’t know how after overplanning and analyzing for days – they end up late at the airport. And not to mention the last minute shopping mainly the international chargers.

    • September 12, 2013 5:53 pm

      International chargers…I love it. I think Ali has about 10 different chargers. And he seems to always need another one…

  11. September 12, 2013 9:07 am

    So what’s more annoying husbands or airport travel?

    • September 12, 2013 5:54 pm

      It’s a tough call Lauren…I’m going to go with the former.

  12. September 12, 2013 1:57 pm

    I so look forward to your posts! You always manage to lighten up the mood 🙂

    Well “The Husband” is quite the opposite of Ali in terms of Travel, he gets Panic attacks before advent of any travel and makes sure that we are on the airport at least 3 hrs before the flight domestic or international! He is crazy!!

    • September 12, 2013 5:55 pm

      3 hours, really? Even when flying domestically? I am impressed!

      You, I’m sure, are not. 🙂

  13. September 12, 2013 3:10 pm

    Thank you for having tea at some fabulous place- I just know you were thinking of me!!!… I prefer traveling with just the right amount of anxiety to make you get there, but without a lot of time to spare. The extra time most likely means that I did not get very much sleep and I had to get up extra early for a 6AM flight, which is NOT on my favorite list. 45 minutes prior to departure is fine by me, which allows time for check in and such, and collapse into the seat with a good book!

    • September 12, 2013 5:56 pm

      45 minutes is the perfect amount of time. So hard to strike that balance! And yes, I agree about the early morning flights being a pain but the great thing? No delays!!

  14. September 12, 2013 3:25 pm

    Ha, my bf is the same way!

  15. September 12, 2013 4:13 pm

    My husband’s the complete opposite – if the airlines suggest 3 hours before departure – he’d make sure he’s atleast that much before if not earlier. I’m okay going earlier as long as I have a book to read and internet…

    • September 12, 2013 5:57 pm

      3 hours?

      So interesting how our husbands are at the opposite ends of the spectrum here…. 🙂

  16. September 12, 2013 5:36 pm

    I’m amazed he didn’t do another round of checks with Amex, etc. before heading out to Hyde Park!

    • September 12, 2013 5:58 pm

      We didn’t get to Hyde Park. I told him he was insane and he wisely dropped the idea….

  17. September 12, 2013 6:00 pm

    Ameena, how do you manage to look the way you do with all that gorgeous food around?? In my family, I’m the obsessive compulsive planner, while my husband only wakes up to the fact that we’re travelling the night before, and as a result tosses and turns through the night. Husbands, I tell you!! My Dad, however, is pretty much like Ali 🙂

    • September 16, 2013 11:13 am

      You are very kind – thank you for the compliment!

      With regards to the tossing and turning, yes I think Ali does that as well the night before we travel. Mostly because he’s trying to determine the most efficient way to get to the airport. 🙂

  18. September 12, 2013 8:40 pm

    After reading this I’m considering forgiving my husband for his behavior – seems like it’s a guy thing. I hate getting to the airport early but like to give myself a 30-45 min cushion for unforeseen (traffic) circumstances.
    The worst time I’ve had is when were leaving for Sedona for my birthday weekend a few yrs ago and my husband arrived at the airport 45 mins before the flight- decided to drop the bags with me and then go park the car (far away) DESPITE all my yelling and get back on air train to get to the terminal (took about 30 mins) – then stopped to throw out my engagement ring that he was carrying for me wrapped in a tissue paper – emptying your pockets into the garbage bin is important when u are late to a flight -and then headed to meet me at the terminal. We entered the security line 5 mins before the flight that I had given up on. Didn’t know what I was more mad at – the lateness or the ring thing. Fumin (me) we get to the gates and they just announced the flight was delayed. We made it to Phoenix/Sedona but I lost my ring! My worst trip ever.
    I always take paddinngton express to heathrow – so much more predictable (traffic wise) than taking the road. (sorry long comment but I needed to vent!)

    • September 16, 2013 8:40 am

      writing that big reply from an iphone was not easy – sorry about the garbled comment !

    • September 16, 2013 11:15 am

      That is one amazing comment, especially from an iPhone Archana!

      So sorry about the ring…I would have been IRATE.

      Sometimes we take the Heathrow Express but it is a bit expensive and so ultimately with 3 people it’s just cheaper to take a cab.

      And please vent away! I can relate more than you know.

  19. September 12, 2013 11:46 pm

    Is he by any chance a nervous flyer? I’m kinda like him in that I prefer dashing manically through the airport at the last minute so I spend less time there and thereby less time thinking about the fact that I’m about to fly…

    • September 16, 2013 11:16 am

      Ali has no problem flying so we can’t blame it on that. 🙂

  20. September 13, 2013 9:09 am

    no matter how much planning i do, i always get to the airport later than i expect and usually stress the entire way. i’ve actually had that movie moment where you are running through newark and your bag unzips and all your sh*t flies everywhere and random strangers help you up and you barely make your flight to india before they shut the plane door. your classmates clap as you sink into your seat. oh just me? lol

    • September 16, 2013 11:16 am

      I’m laughing at this comment! I’m especially interested in the fact that you went to India!

      So curious what you thought of it?

  21. September 13, 2013 2:57 pm

    I’m not a fan of getting to the airport super early, but I do like to sit there for 30 minutes so I can use the bathroom and play on my iPhone… just need more internet time. 🙂 This was fun to read… 🙂 Really nice pics… all of them.

    • September 16, 2013 11:17 am

      Thanks Nisha!

      The airport is definitely a great time to catch up on the Internet…not that I usually have too much extra time to do that, thanks to Ali! LOL

  22. September 14, 2013 3:16 am

    I had to laugh when Ali consulted Amex, the neighbours and friends & relatives! I am total opposite. Have to been at least 3 hours before hand and for some reason, times flies in the airport. I’m glad you made it to your flight though!

    • September 16, 2013 11:18 am

      Time does usually go fast at the airport, but it depends which airport. There is NOTHING to do at LAX …

  23. September 14, 2013 11:59 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this (laughed out loud at 4 hours PTD).

    I love your family. 🙂

  24. September 14, 2013 1:16 pm

    Love the photos!
    I don’t mind the airport as long as I can sit at the bar! Xx

  25. September 14, 2013 1:48 pm

    I really like this post. It is funny:) Sometimes When I read your posts it brings past years to mind before I got very very ill and summer of 2008, when I was an intern in London. I was nostalgic when I saw pictures of Green Park and Fortnum and Mason and Sofra and Prezzo. So last month after I came back from Israel, I visited those places and had a belated Birthday Tea at Fortnum and Masons and week later a belated Birthday Dinner at Sofra. I cannot tell you how Happy I was. I couldn’t believe how much world has changed but food at Sofra and Fortnum and Mason was the same. Thanks Ameena and God Bless you Forever.

    • September 16, 2013 11:20 am

      Two of my favorite places! So glad you had a chance to visit them and I’m glad they were as good as you remembered.

      Happy Belated Birthday!

  26. September 14, 2013 9:37 pm

    Men, can’t live with them, can’t live without them ( actually we probably could, they couldn’t live without us)


    • September 16, 2013 11:20 am

      So funny Nazneen…they definitely couldn’t live without us!

  27. September 14, 2013 11:38 pm

    Travelling is always stressful for everyone I think. My mom likes to get to the airport super early so we always sit in the terminal forever! I don’t know which I would prefer!

    • September 16, 2013 11:20 am

      There must be some medium…not sure why I can’t seem to find it!!

  28. September 15, 2013 1:37 pm

    I think an airport experience with Ali would lead me to a nervous breakdown. I would be so freaked out about missing the flight…especially an international flight no less. Holy guacamole. Plus I need time for my airport rituals (buy overpriced candy and trashy mags, pee before flight, glass of wine no matter how overpriced before flight). I’d have to resort to asking for the wine in a to-go cup, I guess.

    • September 16, 2013 11:21 am

      Trashy mags aren’t my problem, it’s the Buy One, Get One Half Off at Hudson Books that always kills me!

  29. September 16, 2013 10:56 am

    “He consulted Amex. He consulted relatives and friends. He consulted neighbors. ” – that is the story of my life every single day for every purchase that we ever make at home. Consult the world. *sigh*

    • September 16, 2013 11:22 am

      You have my sympathies my friend. So sorry you can relate…truly!

  30. nadia permalink
    September 16, 2013 1:23 pm

    classic ameena!! love ali’s consultations….pics are fab, per usual! dying over that big H on the pudding, yuum! missing you all, need more pics of fashion week and pretty girls, please, xoxoxo

  31. September 16, 2013 2:08 pm

    I totally feel your post on so many levels. My husband first needs to discuss every decision with friends, the Internet, even if we are pretty sure what we want to do. I’m pretty planned out with the airport, I have a crazy fear of missing a flight!

  32. shashi @ permalink
    September 16, 2013 5:12 pm

    I hate toadmit it – but Iam a lot like your hubby – but, my PTD plan sets into action about 8 hrs before departure 😉

  33. September 16, 2013 10:42 pm

    Oh my. That’s a lot of over-thinking just to get to the airport and then sprinting for the flight. Glad you all made it, eventually, thanks to Ali 😉

  34. September 16, 2013 10:46 pm

    You are so funny! Amit is the total opposite, nags, nags, nags and packs and repacks things and consults 10 online things on how to get to the airport. Despite all of that, we still somehow huff and puff and are usually the last to board a flight. Flying is annoying as it is, but flying with the husband is taking it to another level. Seriously!

  35. Leah permalink
    September 17, 2013 1:59 pm

    hahaha Ali would hate me. I’m the one that would rather be there four hours early than risk the possibility of being even a little bit late or rushed. I don’t handle that kind of pressure very well.

  36. glamorous glutton permalink
    September 17, 2013 2:16 pm

    I love time at the airport, to shop, chill and have a glass of champagne. But only at London airport. I try and arrive just on time at all other airports. GG

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