When to Arrive at the Airport

The airport waiting game.

The airport waiting game.

As a former presidential campaign staffer, I spent a lot of time flying. Half of those trips began out at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport- the second busiest airport in the world. While the airport has lots of amenities, arriving at your gate in time for your flight often proves to be a challenge.

That’s why I was fascinated by a theory from Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematics professor and author of How Not To Be Wrong – The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life. Ellenberg (fantastic name, by the way) claims that “if you’ve never missed a flight, you’re not doing it right.” He concludes that “if you consistently arrive at an airport three hours ahead of take-off, then it is true, you may never miss a flight. However, he claims that over the course of a lifetime you will also waste countless hours browsing duty-free shops and snoozing in airport lounges.”

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