The Travel Channel is doing a series on the state of airline travel. You don't know this but, my father predicted this over twenty years ago. Granted, he is dead now but I will graciously accept any post humus allocades.
So, I am going to take my chances and get up early in the morning. You have to realize I grew up where getting to the airport two hours in advance was considered a luxury. I don't remember my first airplane flight ( I was young and still in diapers ) but, I do remember the family did fly an amazing cheaply as the soon to be dreaded word "standby". When my father had clout and at 6-5 360lbs my father had clout as the 1980's would allow. Plus he had the knack of being able to sell ice to Eskimos.
Somehow we survived until the 1990's where a new set of rules took place. I still feared the "standby" status but, I did purchase my first ticket to go see mom. I would travel to Oklahoma City 4 to 5 times a year until my last flight last May.
So what does this have to do with my father predicting the fall of the great birds that fly in the sky ...basically, there is reason man doesn't have wings and just like brain surgery you have to pay.
So pack lightly or send your underwear in advance of your destination and gulp.
What to do to save money and time...
Purchase your ticket at least one month in advance.
Have a back up, make a reservation with another carrier the night before you travel.
Also arrive at the airport at least 1 hour in advance for domestic flights and 2 hours for international.
Also to rest assured those who think it is a scam...you are probably right, how else do airports, municipalities, and airlines make money if flying is convenient. Yes, you paid $800 for a ticket but that doesn't cover the seat cover on your seat. So, for anyone to make money in the airlines they need you to show up early, go thru security, spend your money in their kiosk, dining store, then get on the plane and when you arrive spend more money trying to get back on the return leg of your flight then leave. The predicted average traveler will spend ( and this is the low number ) $125 in the airport round trip so, that's snacks, reading materials, a meal, a separate carry on drink, another meal and reading materials.
Oh! you are not alone...I will be traveling too ...on Labor Day weekend so, I will keep an eye out too for those "costs" of traveling.