Last week I got stuck on an airplane.
The flight attendants were very proud that we landed 30 minutes early.
Yes, landing early is necessary for arriving early and it's a good thing when I can get off the plane early. But, because we were early our gate was not available. Which means we waited in a holding area a short distance from our gate.
The Captain said the other plane would be pushing back soon so we should only have to wait a few minutes.
Then a storm came through.
The ramp employees can not be on the tarmac when there is lightning in the area. I don't disagree with that, but it meant the other plane did not push back and we stayed in the waiting area.
We waited for an hour just a short distance from the gate.
We landed 30 minutes early, but arrived 30 minutes late.
The airline sent an email the next day apologizing for the situation which I appreciated. They also sent a voucher toward future travel which I also appreciated. I fly this airline a lot and feel they are the best domestic carrier out there.
My point is this... it happens a little more than occasionally where we land early and arrive late.