I may have established the minimum leeway one can leave home from Berkeley, take BART to the airport, and still get on one’s reserved flight.
I had a 2 p.m. flight to Las Vegas. I planned to leave home at 11:30, figuring it might take an hour and a half to get to the airport on BART. That timing would have put me at the airport an hour ahead of time. Through one thing and another, I didn’t actually get out of the house until 12:05 p.m. The BART station is about a six- or seven-minute walk, so I was probably there about 12:12. The train to San Francisco arrived at about 12:21. I grabbed a copy of the timetable and saw that the airport train I needed to transfer to wouldn’t arrive at SFO until 1:31. Gee, that would be cutting it close, but there was nothing to do but take the ride and hope there wasn’t a gigantic security backup. The trains were on time, and I actually got off BART at the airport at 1:30. I waited a couple minutes for the shuttle train to the terminal. There was no line at the security checkpoint; the only delay was the usual absurdity: jacket off, shoes off, laptop out of my bag and in a separate tray; in all, I had to to put four separate pieces onto the X-ray conveyor. The TSA guy opened my small suitcase to confiscate my toothpaste, but otherwise I made it through the check quickly. The gate was very close to the checkpoint, and I made it on board at 1:48. Closer than I would have liked, but all’s well that ends well.
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