A Boarding Announcement from Tom Coughlin Airlines

Good morning, and welcome to Tom Coughlin Airlines Flight #88. We recognize that you have a choice in airlines when you fly, and we want to thank you for choosing Tom Coughlin Airlines. We’ll begin boarding shortly for our on-time 10 AM departure. But first, a quick note of clarification.

When we say that this plane is on time for a 10 AM departure, that plane is actually, in accordance with the Tom Coughlin Airlines Handbook, unacceptably late if it takes off at 10 AM. The plane is only on time if it leaves five minutes early, at 9:55 AM. So a plane leaving at 9:56, 9:58, or—Christ forbid, 10:01 AM—is not on time in our book, or in the book of any self-respecting individual. For some reason, this is confusing for younger generations that don’t understand the importance of hard work and sacrifice. I guess that’s just how kids are these days.

We’ll be boarding by zone for TCA Flight #88, starting with our veteran flyers and then proceeding down to our pissant rookies. Note that, due to FAA regulations, the doors to the flight will close fifteen minutes prior to departure. Therefore, if you aren’t at the gate by 9:40 AM, you won’t be able to board the flight. Tardiness is unacceptable, and violators of the time-management policy will be subject to fines, including forfeiture of previously dispensed Au Bon Pain meal vouchers.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can begin the boardi–okay, I see that some of you have questions. Back in my day we’d listen when an elder was speaking, but there you have it. Let me explain again.

Tom Coughlin Airlines is founded on one simple principle: “If a plane is on time, that plane is late.” As such, we strive to have all of our planes depart and arrive five minutes early, such that the planes will be adequately prepared to face the challenges ahead of them. This bedrock principle has enabled Tom Coughlin Airlines to have a pretty inexplicable string of success over the past decade, including two best-in-class awards in years when the airlines were a sad-sack operation as late as September. So, please, respect the principles that are in play here.

To give a specific example, TCA Flight 88 is scheduled for a 10 AM takeoff. If we aren’t in the air by 9:55 AM, my ass is on the chopping block. Which means you, the passengers, need to be ready to board at 9:25 for our scheduled commencement at 9:30. We understand that sometimes this timing can be difficult. Why, just this morning, I booked a cab for an 8 AM arrival, and it showed up at my house five minutes late, right as the church bells were ringing next door. I asked the driver how he could live with himself, and he wordlessly looked in the rearview mirror at me, like I was the crazy one. As a result, the timeline of my whole morning was shifted back significantly, which could have been catastrophic had the McDonald’s at Gate 5A also not opened five minutes late.

We at Tom Coughlin Airlines know that we’re in the business of transporting individuals, but we also like to think that, because of our scheduling principles, we’re in the process of building character. While we can point to many statistics to prove our capabilities in this field, allow us just this one: since 2009, none of our passengers have shot themselves while wearing sweatpants in a nightclub.

Perhaps I digressed a little there, but it was for your own good. Anyway, to simplify this–it’s currently 9:22, so in order to make the 9:30 AM boarding happen, you have precisely three minutes to get to the gate. I’m still receiving some looks of confusion, but this is a very simple concept, and I have nothing else to say on the matter.


Jesus, you folks remind me of my wife. You know how many times we had to reschedule the wedding because she couldn’t figure out what time it was supposed to start? 17. 17 goddamn times. Finally, I just accosted a priest in the street and made him listen to our vows. He may have been homeless, which is a real shame, because he seemed to value punctuality and preparedness.

Anyway, I’m now receiving some bad news. I don’t even know quite how to say this phrase, but here goes: time is currently not of the essence, since the plane that was supposed to arrive here had some issues. Specifically, the plane was in perfect position to run out the rest of the flight in straightforward fashion, but the pilot is a noodle-armed moron who, quite frankly, inspires no confidence in anyone. And since this flight wasn’t occurring in January or February, there actually were negative consequences. That plane is now delayed, so we will actually be leaving at our belated scheduled departure time of 10 AM, rather than the proper, on-time departure of 9:55 AM.

We apologize profusely for the inconvenience. If your travel plans have been hindered by this delay, we can transfer you onto a similar flight operated by Dan Snyder It’s About TraditionTM Airlines. However, we must warn you before adjusting your itinerary: all planes in Dan Snyder’s fleet are going goddamn nowhere.


Lucas Hubbard is a writer and aspiring TCA flight attendant. You should follow him on Twitter.