Procrastinating Wife and Air Travel Dilemma

By Amy Dickinson | August 11th, 2023

They’ve missed planes and left the luggage in the car

airport rushing people pulling suitcases, by Karin Hildebrand Lau. His procrastinating wife misses flights for their travels. They’ve missed planes and left the luggage in the car. See what “Ask Amy” advises.

His procrastinating wife regularly misses flights for their travels or, at best, she’s late to the gate. They’ve even missed planes and left the luggage in the car. See what Amy Dickinson advises in “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

My wife and I are lucky in semi-retirement to have a cabin in the mountains, a two-hour flight away. We visit this property about once a month. We also take a two-week vacation in Europe each year.

The problem: I like to be at the airport with time to spare, so I don’t mind sitting for even an hour before boarding.

My wife, on the other hand, loves to cut it close. It’s like she goes into slow motion at home the day of the flight. She seems to find a million last-minute things to do. I always volunteer to help get them done.

We have missed one flight outright and at least three or four others each year are nail biters (we leave the luggage in the car in order to make the flight!).

We solved a monthly family gathering issue of how long to stay by taking separate cars. I can leave after two hours, she can stay four or five, but a solution to the flying issue eludes us.

One of us can’t really get on a plane without the other.

After the missed flight, she did better for a time, but my nails are getting shorter again!

Your advice?

– Nail Biter

Dear Nail Biter:

I’m getting anxious hives just reading about your wife’s behavior.

Three or four times a year you actually leave your luggage behind in order to run for the plane? Yikes.

You state that one of you cannot get on a plane without the other, but … why not?

If I were you, I would leave a day early for the cabin. Just book and take your own flight, get to the cabin (with your luggage!) and open up the house. If your procrastinating wife misses her flight the next day, she misses it. More cabin for you.

This is a souped-up version of each taking their own transportation to family events (a move I heartily endorse).

An alternative to this is for you to get your own transportation to the airport within your comfort zone, enjoy your magazine at the gate, and if your wife races in and makes the plane, great. If not – she’ll have to sort it out on her own. Again – more cabin for you!

This solution does not cover your European trip, but if your wife experiences some nail-biters on her own, she might modify her behavior.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a procrastinating wife to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

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