A Mathematician Reveals the Best Time to Get to the Airport Before Your Flight


There seems to be two schools of thought on airport arrival. Some believe the best course of action is to arrive extra early and spend the time browsing through duty free before a flight. The other school of thought on airport arrival is to get there later, just before the flight so you don’t have to sit there twiddling your thumbs.

If this is something that you’re unsure about you might want to take note of American mathematics professor Jordan Ellenberg. He believes that he has developed the perfect formula for determining optimal airport arrival time.

How Not To Be Wrong – The Hidden Maths Of Everyday Life, is a new book by the professor in which he reveals his airport arrival formula. Ellenberg states in the book that every minute spent in the airport and not in the comfort of one’s own home is a ‘negative unit.’

So, to avoid accumulating hundreds of wasted hours at the airport in a lifetime, Professor Ellenberg suggests arriving later rather than earlier, however he does also admit that it, “depends on how you personally feel about the relative merits of missing planes and wasting time”.