Has your flight ever been delayed causing you to enter into a state of panic for fear of missing your connection? I am sure that 95% of people who read this will be able to answer in the affirmative. Missing a flight and having to wait for hours for a connection is annoying, boring and completely anger inducing. It's an inevitable occurrence that inflicts most travelers. (If it has not yet happened to you, do not feel special, as your day will come!)
If your first flight arrives late and your layover is short, my advice is: DO NOT GIVE UP! If there is a will there is a way so do all that you can to make the connection. And if this means pushing your way to the front of the customs line-up, DO IT. If it means elbowing your way to pickup your luggage before anyone else, DO IT. If it means pushing your endurance and running faster than you've ever run before, DO IT!
Here is proof that the impossible can be possible:
My husband, 3 young children, and I were late arriving into Toronto last Christmas. Our flight was late leaving Miami and the harsh weather in Eastern Canada didn't help things much. By the time we arrived it was 5:15 – and our connecting flight to Vancouver was scheduled for 6:00. This short layover wouldn't have been so daunting if we didn’t have to collect our baggage and go through customs. Traveling solo or with other adults is not so bad – however when you add 3 little ones to the mix you are slowed down at an exponential rate. Try telling a 2-1/2 year old who is grumpy from sitting on a long flight to, "hurry up and run".
But somehow, we managed to get our bags and get through customs. Only problem – by this time it was 5:50! After going through security we hopped on one of those carts reserved for the disabled and elderly. I couldn't quite understand the benefit of having one of these take us to our gate considering I could have run 3 times as fast. But try telling three little girls that they were not going to be able to go on their 'special ride'. So, off we went with ten minutes to go.
5 minutes later we arrived at our gate... OOPS... it wasn't our gate; the driver took a wrong turn! My husband and I grabbed the girls under our arms (he had 2, I had 1) and I lugged our carry-on with my free hand. At 6:00, on the nose, we arrived at the gate. I don’t even think the woman at the gate looked at our tickets/passports. She literally pushed us through.
WE MADE IT! Once we got on the plane the flight attendant realized that none of us were sitting together and hence they had to re-arrange 1/2 the plane so that our two 4-year olds and our 2 1/2 year-old were not sitting alone. But that's a whole other story in itself!
Upon arrival in Vancouver, what we were really ready for was to rent a nice big SUV and travel to somewhere relaxing and quiet, perhaps a place with an exceptionally nice spa and a big hot tub!