It happened to a travel client of mine on a recent New York City trip who flew into LaGuardia (LGA). Two days later his return flight was booked out of Newark (EWR) airport which had the last flight of the day to K.C. (MCI).
Not only did he know that two airports were involved, he’d requested it.
But when it actually came to his return trip he forgot and promptly directed his cab to take him back to LGA. He didn’t realize his mistake until reaching the UNITED counter and there was no way of cabbing it to EWR in time to reach his actual flight.
Instead it was back to his Manhattan hotel and another night at $300.
A similar scenario went down with another client on a same day round trip to Chicago. Early business calls had him flying into O’Hare (ORD) but returning out of Midway (MDW).
But this time there were two airlines involved—AMERICAN and SOUTHWEST.
You guessed it, he returned to ORD where he learned of his mistake.
Ironically AMERICAN had a later flight out of O’Hare to K.C. that evening but it was sold out. And again there was no chance in hell of crossing town to Midway to catch the SOUTHWEST flight in time. Instead he spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express.
Then there’s the case where a friend waited to pick up his college buddy at Miami airport. You guessed it again. He had flown into Ft. Lauderdale.
Lots of major cities are served by two or more airports that could trip you up. And more often than not those different airports are home to the same carriers.
Here are just a few examples of markets served by multiple airports:
New York: JFK / LGA / EWR
Los Angeles: LAX / BUR / ONT / SNA
Dallas: DFW / DAL
Chicago: ORD / MDW
Houston: HOU / IAH
Washington, DC: DCA / IAD / BWI
Miami: MIA / FLL
London: LHR / LTN / LGW / LCY / STN
Paris: CDG / ORY
Berlin: TXL / SXF (and coming in 2013: BER)
Good luck and may the alphabet jet in your favor.