Sunday, January 06, 2013

Tips for winter travelers

Traveling is a nightmare anyway, but during the winter it gets even worse. But fear not, blog faithful. Here are some suggestions for winter air travel:

Check the weather forecast. If it’s not 72 degrees and clear EVERYWHERE in the United States, reschedule.

Do not call the airline for a weather update. You’ll learn it’s cool and overcast in New Delhi.

Allow two hours before the flight, ten hours for the tarmac, two hours for the unscheduled fuel stop, and two hours to retrieve your luggage. And if you’re flying from LA to San Francisco, 45 minutes for the flight itself.

If you print your ticket on one of those self-help stations realize that the chances of it working are the same as five cherries coming up on a slot machine.

Best to print your ticket at home the night before along with the flight schedules of every other airline going to your destination, airport shuttle schedules, Amtrak schedules, and the 1-800 numbers for Ramada, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott, Quality Inn, Best Western, and the YMCA.

Never turn in your rental car until it’s the final boarding call on your flight.

Never fly to, from, or around Chicago.

Always use skycaps. And if you choose to ever see your luggage again, tip.

Remember: “the white zones are for assholes in SUV’s only”.

You are allowed several little three-ounce bottles of something but not one three-and-a-half-ounce bottle of the same thing.

You might want to put that Astroglide into a nondescript little bottle.

Don't book connecting flights in the winter, even in Hawaii.

Don't buy furniture off the Sky Mall.

Don’t have children if you plan on flying anytime in the next fifteen years. Even if it’s one trip.

If they announce they’re overbooked and are looking for volunteers to take a later plane for free trips take it. The flight is going to be cancelled anyway. And you’ll have a jump at getting reservations at the airport Hilton.

Have your laptop, ipod, cellphone, iphone, Gameboy, Blackberry, camcorder, transistor radio, electric razor, hand held fan, and pacemaker fully charged. Ten hours on the tarmac is a long time.


Before you get on the flight take Airbourne, water, Xanex, Oscillococcinum, Clariton, Ambien, and tequila.

Fake a limp so you can pre-board and guarantee there will be room in the overhead compartments for your stuff.

Bring your own DVD’s, music selection, food, blankets, pillows, reading light, water, magazines, newspapers, coffee, toilet paper. And just to be on the safe side, your own oxygen masks and floatation devices.

But it’s not a good time to catch up on the first season of LOST.

Play the drinking game. Take a swig every time you hear “we apologize for the inconvenience”. Not recommended for those unwilling to get completely shitfaced.

Drinking game #2: “We thank you for your patience.”

Don’t kid yourself. EVERYONE is flying “stand by”.

The scary part used to be the landing. Now it’s pushing off from the gate.

Beware of free WIFI hotspots in airport terminals. Hackers use these to break into your computer. Not a joke.

It’s quieter and smoother in the front of the plane. And screw what they say, if you’re in Coach and you want to use the bathroom go to the ones in First Class.

And finally, always remember: it’s NEVER the airlines' fault. It’s the weather, air traffic controllers, mechanical problems, baggage handler strike, FAA rules, homeland security, airport restrictions, lawmakers, the billy goat curse, lunar eclipses, and most of all -- the media.


Don K. said...

If you never fly to Chicago, it can't be the fault of the Billy Goat curse. Just sayin'.

But Chicago IS great, by the way.

thesamechris said...

Any train ride under 4 hours is better than flying!

Just close your eyes for 15 minutes and then open beer 1 of 4. Zone out into mental hibernation.
Beautiful, how the ruins of former industrial zones linger by.

MikeBo said...

And, if you're flying to Europe from the west coast, book a non-stop by passing Chicago, Dallas, Houston Atlanta or any other domestic deadfall. Once you cross the pond you can always book a high speed train to your final destination, if need be. And fly a European carrier. Flying a US carrier is like flying around the world on Allegiant.

Roger Owen Green said...

this is why I hate flying!

John said...

I remember 20 years ago driving my co-worker in icy conditions to pick up her son from the airport after he spent Christmas with her ex, and finding out American Eagle had tried to bump him from the overbooked flight, but changed their mind when they realized they were trying to bump a pre-teen flying alone...

...but they did bump his luggage before they realized their error. So while he arrived only 90 minutes behind schedule (albeit ready to ralph after a hour of winter storm turbulence), the luggage didn't show up until the next flight, four hours after that, and next to sports stadiums and gentlemen's clubs, airport bars have the highest per-drink profit ratio in the world. At least the jalapenos on the nachos were hot (and I should have demanded American Eagle compensate me for the additional five hours of short-term parking fees).

Cap'n Bob said...

My lost luggage was a blessing. It was delivered to my door the next day and I didn't to schlep it all over the airport.


Henny Youngman said...

Getting on a plane, I told the ticket lady, "Send one of my bags to New York, send one to Los Angeles, and send one to Miami." She said, "We can't do that!" I told her, "You did it last week!"

Fuzzy Dunlop said...

Disclaimer to Ken's international readers: today's post only relates to travel on American carriers going to and from American airports. Thanks for reminding me why I always fly Asian airlines direct overseas, even when a cheaper option through the US is available!


Cap'n Bob said...

Oops! I left out the word "have" in my post. "...didn't have to schlep..."

Oh, and if you really want to enhance your air travel experience, try doing it at Xmas while enjoying the flu.

RCP said...

Airlines Once Upon A Time: "Come Fly the Friendly Skies!"

Airlines Today: "Stop Complaining, or We'll Give You Something to Complain About!"

chuckcd said...

I usually watch "AIRPLANE!" while I'm on the airplane....

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