Guys, what I am about to share is nothing short of a miracle. I fly a LOT and I know that it is almost impossible to go from waking up at 6:43am to boarding a flight at 7:15am. But when Jesus is involved, indeed all things become possible!

You might ask me how I ended up in this situation and the answer is simple – I was tired and I overslept!

Back to base!

I was in France for 2 nights –  Friday in Barbizon/Fontainebleau at my alma mater, INSEAD, and Saturday in Paris. On Saturday morning I got to campus early and took some time to walk around alone. It was quite surreal being back there after 2 years and I really got in my feelings as I walked around. Afterwards, I hung out with the Naija crew on campus and we had a good time.

INSEAD Naija crew love

I left for Paris around midday with a plan – find spicy food, catch up with 2 of my friends and be back at my hotel by 8pm at the latest. Great plan, right? I had booked a hotel that was very close to the airport because I had an early flight on Sunday morning (with a boarding time of 7:15am) and I did not trust myself enough to wake up in good time. The airport in Paris is far from everywhere, so I was not taking chances. I checked in at the hotel and then set out by train to Paris. I ended up finding spicy food, buying my travel-size chilli pepper tube from Oh!NG and hanging out with 4 fabulous people (3 old friends from Covenant University and 1 brand new friend from Instagram).

Paris gang – happy people, yeah yeah!

I only got back to my hotel by 12:30am!!! As you can see, this was a clear case of ‘afowafa’ (self-inflicted problem) and I should have set 3 alarms, asked for a wake-up call or maybe even just stayed awake, lol. Nopes – I did no such thing. I just slept off and opened my eyes at 06:43am.

 

I was disturbing Paris instead of going to bed early, lol

[Editor’s note: from this point, I am just going to type what I had written to one of my friends on WhatsApp as I tried to describe what happened from the point when I opened my eyes. I will also make a few minor edits.]

Only GOD did not allow me to miss this flight – only GOD! After I opened my eyes and saw the time, I jumped up, brushed my teeth, washed my face and other important body parts and RAN! No makeup, no jewelry, nothing! I just dumped EVERYTHING in my bag (phones, chargers, etc) and ran. That took me about 8 mins. (06:51am)

I ran downstairs, saw the queue to checkout and just kept running – I did not check out or even try to collect the refund of my 100 Euros security deposit (and you know Ijebu girls don’t mess with money).

[Update: when I got to Frankfurt, I called the hotel and told them my situation. They checked me out and told me to come back to collect my 100 Euros whenever I am back in the country. Sigh!]

This is my ‘I am coming back for my money’ face

God planted a Ghanaian porter at the door. I asked him long it would take to get to Terminal 1 by train and he said 30 mins. Remember that my flight was going to start boarding in 20 mins. At that point, my heart sunk to my feet. I spent 5 seconds trying to give up, then remembered the important 9am Monday morning meeting I have in Ghana and I woke up again.

I asked him how long it would take by cab and he responded 15 Euros. Notice I asked how long but he responded with ‘how much’. Hahahaha! Thank God, I had 20 Euros in my pocket so I said sure. Note – I am that annoying person that does not like to carry cash. I am ‘Madam Cashless’ so it was a miracle that I had the 20 Euros on me.

My face when you ask me for cash

He jumped into the hotel shuttle (which does not go to Terminal 1 at all – I know because I had asked when I checked in at the hotel the day before) and drove me to T1. That whole discussion and the drive took about 13mins. (07:04am)

I say God planted him there for 2 reasons. First, it was so much easier to talk to him in English. We recognized each other’s accents and did not bother to do Francais síl vous plet things. Secondly, I think because we connected, he just had mercy on me and went out of his way to help me.

When we got to Terminal 1, I FLEW OUT and continued running. For the first time, arrows and signs started confusing me. After a short rigmarole (which felt like eternity), I managed to find the direction to the gates and continued running. I ran down some stairs and ran up again. I ran straight on the long escalator line and even when there was a slope, I did not stop running, I just kept running!

When I got to some cross-over point, the queue for economy class was LOOOONG! I went to the business class side and showed the lady that my flight was boarding in 5mins (yes, it was 07:10am by this time) and she let me through. Another ANGEL used by God!

View from Paris-Frankfurt flight – Heaven was definitely on my side today

I continued running until I got to the security screening point. I was prepared to beg if there was a long queue. I was also praying for forgiveness for all the times I had said ‘okay, its fine’ to people who asked to jump the queue because they were about to miss their flights but then rolled my eyes and muttered ‘but why are you late naa?’ under my breath after they passed. Thankfully, God forgave me in advance, went ahead of me and cleared everyone off the queue such that there was only one person ahead of me on the queue, pheeeeeeeew!!!

I went through security confidently thinking the worst was over and then my bag was held back. Ah!! I forgot I had 2 tubes of chilli pepper in my bag and did not bring them out. 3 mins later, after a thorough search of my bag and a reapplication of deodorant since I had been working out (hehehe), I was on my way!

Guilty as charged – my Oh! NG chilli travel tubes

Thank God again, my gate was only 1 min away and I got there just as they made the announcement that the flight was ready to board. PHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! This was when I finally stopped running.

It could only be GOD that made it possible for me to make it on this flight when I woke up 30 mins before boarding time. God used online check-in, no check-in luggage (see another reason why one must not carry too much load), sense to pack up my things the night before, the Holy Spirit to tap my skull at 6:43am, the Ghanaian porter (Chale, God bless you for me o!), the business class queue lady who let me go through that line despite being an economy class passenger, the people I almost knocked over while running, the no queue at security and the small fitness remaining in my body to save me today! Dear GOD, thank you o!!!!

When I got to Frankfurt, I went into the first bathroom I saw to freshen up again (too much adrenaline), apply some powder, wear my earrings and change into clean clothes (yup, I wore whatever I saw on the top of my box when I woke up). Then I humbly and joyfully walked to my boarding gate ready to head back home to Lagos.

See fresh face – thank God we don’t look like the James Bond movies we feature in

I cannot even think of any moral to the story beyond the fact that our good good Father GOD is interested in every single little detail of our lives and is committed to making sure we are not stranded. Secondly, alarm clocks work – Kemi, use an alarm. Amen!!

Have you ever missed a flight? Have you ever ALMOST missed a flight? Please share your experience with us in the comments section. For the superheroes who have never missed a flight, how do you do it?

Cheers to no more missed flights ever,

Kemi

30 Comments

  1. Tolu A September 9, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Such a delight to read… I smiled all through and kept on visualizing the episode as I read!
    Heaven is always on your side babe, keep shining.

    Much love 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Amen and amen! Thank you darling!

      I am sure you have never missed a flight, hehehehe.

      Reply
  2. Nnenna Fakoya-Smith September 9, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Oh Kemi o!!!! LOL!!!! Pele,o!
    I have almost missed my flight before o! But it wasn’t alarm issues, it was the fact that I was being nice by helping someone in Dubai carry load to his family in Naija,o! I didn’t have ego to wrap the big load (silly me should have told the person to do so…but me no know o!). My flight was already boarding and the person no dey around airport to come collect him kaya! Na on black airport attendant (God bless am!) wey pity me use big tape to wrap am. Since then I swore I would never ever carry load for anyone again,o! Well anyone that isn’t CLOSE family! Lol! As I read your story, I remembered` how I ran for my life so I no go miss my flight. Me wey no get money to buy another ticket….me wey dey return to Naija broke but fulfilled that I spend my money well traveling! Ha! Lesson learned! Epele dear. Abeg make you dey put like 5 alarms when you get early bird flight…hehehe!

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Hahahaha! 7 alarms sef – 5 alarms will not be enough, hehehe.

      Sometimes, it is best we learn these lessons ourselves so we never repeat them again. I know the feeling of coming home cashless but fulfilled – any attempt to try to collect another money from me is futile. Kuku use me as flight attendant to pay for the next flight, lol.

      Thank God for the black airport attendant that God used for you, God bless him o!

      My travel buddy (that has not gone on a trip with me) – bless you heart hun!

      Reply
  3. Seun O September 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Catherine! Thank God for God 😁
    I have nearly missed my flight twice, first time was just me and second time was with family, both times were in London (you know the lagos gate on Virgin Atlantic at heathrow is like at the end of the world)
    First time was money matter, I was trying to get back my tax returns (which was a substantial amount by the way 😁) I wanted to use it to buy gifts at duty free for people. My only saving grace was that I had checked in, dropped bags and all, just to proceed to the boarding gate. I blame my wrist watch sha, it was set one hour behind London time and I thought I had time until they called my phone that I was the only passenger they were waiting for. Chai! I must have run faster than Marion Jones that day, boarding gate seemed like Australia, I made the flight but it was a miserable flight. I was lucky to fly premium economy that day, but the look the cabin crew gave me when I boarded, I Jejely slept through the flight and didn’t dare eat 😂😂😂 This was about 7 years ago and I’ve been an early airport person since then, until last month!

    Imagine being late for your flight with 2 children in tow! It was a nightmare. Same London (looks like heathrow is my nemesis) Came into London in the morning, my connecting flight to lagos was at night, so I decided to do some last minute shopping (for some people) ended up spending too much time at the mall. Departure lounge was empty by the time we got there, last to do bag drop, thank God for online check in. Had to carry hand luggage for myself and 2 boys, with the boys saying they were tired, but we made it to our “end of the earth” boarding gate. I hope I never have a near miss experience again, it’s hilar thinking back but I understood perfectly all that you went through 😂
    Let’s catch up soon ♥️

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Bwahahahahahahahha at not daring to eat!!! Lol. Did you think they would poison you? Hahahahahahaha.

      I think your own issue is last minute shopping, lol. Let me add my needs to your lists abeg.

      Sorry about the second experience, kai. Pele! You should have made the boys run as a game, maybe they would have kept running. Pele! Mama awon boys – eku ise!

      Let’s definitely catch up soon!

      Reply
  4. Olufisayo Adeleke September 9, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I really thank God for you o! I’ve had this same experience..only this time around..I actually got to the airport two hours to boarding time…I had checked in and all …and I saw this nice fancy restaurant…my Uncle had given me ‘last born’ money before I left for the airport so I decided to treat myself as the baby girl I was…for some reason…I thought the boarding time was 11:20 when it was actually 10:20, I took my good time to eat that meal…I wasn’t near any of those screens that display the flight info so I was actually just relying on my wristwatch…I had finished my meal and was chilling..waiting for 11:00 so I could get on my way..at about 10:00 I started feeling uneasy..so I decided to check my phone…thank God for google o…just thank God for Google…immediately, i see a notification that my boarding closes at 10:20…Aunt Kemi, I actually jumped, then flew, not ran o, flew…as fate would have it, my terminal was on an entirely different side of the airport than where I was…I never knew I could run so fast…I was flying up and down escalators…I got to my boarding gate 10:19…I drank 3 bottles of water immediately I got in the plane…

    Reply
    1. Jay September 9, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Hahahahahahaha. I had to comment here… 3 bottles of water… Lol. Well done baby girl

      Reply
    2. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Hahahahahaha!! Fisayo o!!! I can’t stop laughing!

      One big tip so you don’t kill yourself – always use the clock on your phone (if you don’t like to keep changing the time on your wristwatch). When I am abroad, my wristwatch becomes just a fashion accessory, I use my phone for scheduling and all sorts.

      How come every time we almost miss a flight, the terminal is as far as possible, lol. The day we get there early, the terminal will be right in front of your nose, hehehehe.

      Thanks for sharing! I am still cracking up. Hehehehehehehe. Last born money to do baby girl, hahahahahahha

      Reply
  5. Jay September 9, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    My sister, I can’t relate o. I ve never missed a flight, not because I m prim and proper o, it’s the fear of being left behind (literally). I set different alarms and sleep with one eye open.. Thank God for laying hands on ya head.. Thank God for the really small details and for using people… Very close shave gannnn…

    PS. I m proud of you, two posts in a month.. Well done dear… 😂. Don’t miss you flight ness time.

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Lol @ ‘I cant relate o’ – you have left me on this my table alone! Good job being so disciplined with all the alarms but please start closing your eyes to sleep – He giveth His beloved sleep. Amen!

      Thank GOD for everything that happened that morning – I cannot even take one single credit for it – all the accolades go to Jesus!

      Thank you for being so proud of me! I even have another post cooking – whaaaaat!!! Hahaha. All I really need is to be in the air for an extended period and posts shall be flowing.

      Reply
  6. Koye September 10, 2018 at 6:07 am

    First, it was great to see you again!

    Second, yes oh. I’ve nearly missed two flights. One in Vienna and the other in Paris. The CDG one was just ridiculous. It was a connecting flight to Geneva and I messed up the terminals (like 2F versus 2G – just for example as I don’t recall the actual terminals) only it was one of those instances where they were like 15 minutes apart and I had to take a bus. Oh, and the flight from Nigeria had been delayed so I was cutting it really close.

    Ended up sprinting like crazy; thank God I had just a backpack. I also really hate to have to explain to people to please let me through, and was grateful the queues had magically disappeared that day. I was legit the last person to get on the plane.

    Phew. Thank God!

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Pheeeeew!!!! Thank God o! CDG and their confusing terminals – gosh! I legit think that airport is across 2 different cities, lol. Schipol, Frankfurt and Heathrow airports are also in the same Whatsapp group of extra-large airports that can confuse somebody.

      I am more convinced about travelling light now, especially if you know you are prone to drama, lol. Yes to backpacks and hand luggage only!

      Re explaining to people – now that it has happened to me, I have more empathy so no more rolling eyes at them. Things happen to people and we just need to be more understanding.

      How did you handle the stares from people when you got on the plane? Lol…

      And oh, Happy Birthday Brother! You are loved!

      Reply
  7. Joys September 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Oh aww 😂 😂
    Nice one Kemi!

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Thank you Joys 🙂

      Reply
  8. Imoh Eboh September 10, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I have been a costumer of running late for flights a number of times. But my brain has switched to European time, for the time being. No African time.

    All of us who made you stay out late, are guilty. Especially me. I really wanted to see Notré Dame, like the next day wasn’t coming. But I enjoyed learning those new things and experiencing how your 1st Class mind works. It works super well.
    The way you answered the questions, Father!!! I collected that anointing too. Thank you for the experience. Think of This experience as, being like Jesus. You have up your sleep and risked missing your flight for me to see Notré Dame with you. This was a good read.

    For journaling, like you asked at the Thai Restaurant… I should get on that.

    Thank you. SpeciaLEST October Wonder and Travel Inspiration. Aaaaaand, I arrived Barcelona safe. Malaga in a bit and Lagos, finally.

    Reply
  9. Oyinderr September 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I’m happy for you. I missed my flight and it was like everything that could go wrong went wrong that day. As I got to the gate they said the doors had been closed. I wanted to cry but I was soo determined to goto Greece and I walked out and bought another ticket which was like 7 times what I had paid before (I had used my miles to pay for the first). I didn’t oversleep I was just working and didn’t really plan my trip. That must never happen again

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hey Oyinda – 7 times the original cost??? Kuku kee me!! That must have hurt big time, pele my dear.
      I hope Greece was worth all that pain o. And I am sure you will never let that happen to you again. Worst case, you will take the work to the airport and do it from in front of the boarding gate.

      Pele dear! And cheers to never missing a flight again!

      Reply
  10. Rachael September 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Thank God we don’t look like the James Bond movies we feature in!! Oh my goodness! Aunty K i laughed all through this one.

    God always got your back…
    Loads of love from me

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 11, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Mrs Coks! Thank God o!!! Indeed He always has our backs and this is why we always come out victorious!
      Hugs and kisses!

      Reply
  11. Jolz September 12, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Had fun reading this. I’m a Just-In-Time person so I have my fair share of almost missing my flight drama. The feeling of making it on the flight though is just something sort of a high. Usually make sure to check in online, and if it’s a long haul flight where I have luggage to check-in, I arrive a little early than I would usually. Also, as part of the disturbing Paris crew I’m just so glad we have another flight victory.

    Side note: Thank you for supporting Oh! NG. We love you.

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Jolzzzzzzz, thank you for helping me disturb Paris, lol. Safe to say the adrenaline rush was worth it, but I no get energy for another race so I will behave better next time.

      And oh, I love Oh! NG too!!

      Reply
  12. Chinwe September 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Kemi oooo! I know your first sentence hinted that you were ok but you shoulda seen me praying “God I hope she dinor miss this flight! Jesu! O”

    Glad to know ‘all of you’ made it back home. 😁 Next time, plus alarm o (several) plus wake up call o we go do all of them 😉

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Yes ma’am!!! Thank you very much for the prayers – it went back in time and worked. Halleluyah!

      I will do better next time, I promise. Thanks dear.

      Reply
  13. Bosede OyebodeAyodele September 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I Have Missed My Flight, And Another Near Missed Flight One Local, Abuja Back To Lagos.Why I Was Angry In The Whole Episode Was That Myself And Two Other Family Members Got To The Abj Airport An Hour Ahead Of Time Of The Flight.We Were Relaxed Waiting For Our Flight.There Was No Announcement, Typical Of Nigeria Air Transport. When I Went To Find Out About Our Flight And That There Was No Announcement. It Was Shocked To Be Told That See, Thats The Plane Taking Off.I Was Livid With Anger , But There Was No Respite.Thank God We Had Money To Pay For Change Of Flight. The Second One Was A Near Miss Which Would Have Been Terrible.This Was Lagos To Canada.I Was To Connect From Montreal To Vancouver For A Professional Annual Conference.There Were Many Colleauges En Route To Vancover With Different Connecting Airline.Some How I Was The Only One In This Particular Airline.I Saw A Lot Of My Colleauges Head For Their Flights.In A Spilt Second I Looked At My Ticket And Saw The Time I Just Saw That My Flight Was Almost Going To get Ready To Get The Door Closed.I Ran Like A Cheetah Somehow Mother Luck Was On My Side When I Noticed That One Of The Cabin Crew Beckoned To Me To Calm Down And Come.Big Relief Indeed.

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author September 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Pheeeeeeeeeeew!!! Thank God you finally made it o! Lol @ running like a cheetah – it is not easy to bring out forex change to buy ticket in the abroad. E pele Ma.

      Yaaaaaaaaaay! Grand-Aunt mi toh sure -it is soooo nice to read your comment. I love how you stay engaged with the next generation. I pray that God continually renews your strength like the youth in Jesus name.

      Hugs!

      Reply
  14. Imagerocks September 27, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    “For the first time, arrows and signs started confusing me….” I once had a similar experience shopping in duty free in Schiphol Airport until I heard my name over the speakers – my name ke? I ran with all my shopping like a mad man!!!! Flight was delayed for 5mins!

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author October 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Hahahaha! You even still ran with the shopping,lol. Hearing your name on the loudspeaker usually feels like a dream, hehehehehehe!

      Reply
  15. BE October 2, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Wow. Lol! Oshey Janet Bond. While reading the story, I was practically running with u. Lol.

    I’ve also almost missed a flight from Aberdeen to Amsterdam. I was delayed crazily at security screening point. I ran initially, then started posing and strolling (for my mind, them must wait).

    I got go the boarding gate… It was empty. Everyone had boarded. The airport public address system was saying something… I didn’t quite hear. They were calling out my name for like 5mins asking me to board immediately. I ran like maddddddd!!!

    Boarding closed like a second after me. I was the last solo passenger to board. All the oyinbos were just looking at me like swegbe. When I look at them, they’d smile but their Belle dey turn. When I say, I started explaining to the guy seated by me what happened even without him asking. He just responded “Yeah, okay”.

    Reply
    1. Kemi O - Site Author October 10, 2018 at 12:05 am

      Hahahahahahaha!!! Captain, please don’t kill me. You said their belle dey turn, heehehehe! I am sure your own belle too would have been turning if one of your passengers was wasting your precious time, lo.

      Please why were you explaining? Hahahahaha! I ca’nt, please! This is super hilarious. Hope the belle-turning shame of that day made you never show up late for any flights?

      Thank you so much for always always coming through here – I really appreciate it!

      p.s I am always showing up late in your yard – they know me now, Madam cut-it-close 🙂 I need a revolution, whoop whoop! Lol

      Reply

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